Ezo Bistro, IG11 8TU
- Unit 1, Barking Station, Station Parade, IG11 8TU
- Mon-Fri: 6:30am-7pm; Sat: 8am-5pm; Sun: 10am-4pm
Cafe in the concourse of Barking Station. It opened in July 2014.
Railway station cafes are generally fairly uninteresting, but this one is an exception. The owners have done very well at overcoming the limitations of the space, with the only indications of its location being the low ceiling, utilitarian tiling on the floor, and view onto the corridor leading to the platforms. Floral wallpaper adds colour, and the menu is chalked on a decorative board photo.
Seating comprises comfortable mismatched upright armchairs clustered around coffee tables, as well as a sofa or two. Some of the seating is a little too low for the tables, though. A piano sits in one corner, with a candelabrum on top, and plants in pots are here and there.
A sideboard holds condiments and a couple of matched sets of books photo, and more books line the shelf that runs around the interior walls. These books are just for reading in the cafe, not for sale or taking away, but there's a free book exchange trolley just outside.
Kake has visited twice now, on Sunday afternoons in June and July 2016. Both times, there were about half a dozen other people in, and instrumental jazz was playing quietly.
Sandwiches are freshly made, and priced by type of bread; you can mix and match any of the fillings listed on the menu board. In June 2016, Kake's mozzarella, tomato, olive, and roasted pepper sandwich (£3.20) photo was well-filled, and came with the unexpected bonus of a spinach salad on the side (though I'd have preferred there to be some dressing on the salad). Peach iced tea (£2.80) was fine, if nothing special.
They also do crepes. In July 2016, Kake's spinach and feta crepe (£3.70) photo was generously filled, and nicely presented with a sprinkling of dried herb seasoning on top. It wasn't freshly made, but perfectly fine nevertheless.
They're just within range of the (free) station wifi, but on our July 2016 visit this was almost unusably laggy.
Accessibility: No steps to get in. There doesn't seem to be a customer toilet. The station itself does have one, but this is inside the barriers.