Nico, SE25 6XP
- 241 Selhurst Road, SE25 6XP
- Mon-Tue: closed; Wed-Sun: 10am-4pm
Cafe in South Norwood.
The new premises have seating for around two dozen people, half of it on long communal tables and the rest divided between regular upright chairs, a couple of small armchairs, and three tall plastic stools. A mirrored pillar adds interest in the centre of the room, while bunches of flowers stand in large and small vases.
The table tops are wooden planks with spilled wax melted on here and there, the ceiling is covered with a large decorative paper cut-out, and fairy lights intermingle with trailing plants. A fully glazed frontage gives plenty of natural light.
Kake visited on a Friday lunchtime in February 2020. There were half a dozen other customers when I arrived around 12:30pm; this roughly doubled over the next hour, but an hour after that there were only three of us left. Music was playing quietly on a record player.
I went for the open faced toasted sourdough sandwich with seasonal vegetables and a choice of cheeses/meats (£6.50), choosing brie and proscuitto as my options photo.
The "seasonal vegetables" consisted of radish, apple, tomato, and a very small quantity of asparagus, which was a bit surprising as I'd only really consider the apple to be plausibly in season in the UK in February. However, they were all fresh and well-flavoured (even the tomato), and showed some good knifework. Red rice and toasted pumpkin seeds were scattered on the top for a pleasing extra dimension of texture, and it was all finished with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.
Overall the sandwich was very good, and I'd order it again, but I wished it hadn't taken an hour and a half to arrive. The staff member doing front-of-house said this was because there was only one person working in the kitchen, but it did seem quite unnecessarily slow.
They have a very large range of Pukka teas, as well as Earl Grey and English breakfast. A mug of Earl Grey tea (£1.80) came ready-brewed, with no option to adjust the strength.
They have WiFi (ask staff for the password) and at least three plug sockets, and are explicitly welcoming to laptop users.
Accessibility: No steps to get in, and none to the toilet (a single large cubicle with grab bars, a low sink, and a pull-down nappy change).