London can be difficult sometimes. You can have a million friends around one weekend and the next everyone disappears to the French Alps or something and there is no-one. This is generally okay, I’m pretty good at self entertaining, and, especially when I’m trying to write, it’s not very productive having someone talking in my ear.
On these days I have a little Saturday morning ritual. I go to a market or cafe, eat something yummy, and spend a bit of time getting copy written. Today I ate a buttermilk chicken burger (more about that later) and then I wanted my usual coffee and treat. I went to one cafe and was unceremoniously dismissed. They were too busy the guy said, no space. Never mind that he didn’t actually look and a whole table of people that had just finished followed me out as I left.
I’m really easy going, and not precious either. Stick me in a corner, I’m really not bothered as long as you’re friendly and at least pretend to care. Alas that was not the case here. I shrugged and walked on to the next place. Same deal, they too declined. I can understand that they were busy, but I also got the impression that little me wasn’t enough to motivate them to make an effort, return patronage be damned.
I suppose the universe sends you where you’re meant to be. I walked further down the road, feeling a little forlorn. I stopped at the next place along, ‘third times a charm’. In I went and asked for a seat, they were very busy too, packed out in fact, but the lady I spoke to said ‘wait a minute, I think this guy at the back is leaving, i’ll suss it out for you’. I waited. A few moments later she came back, ‘I have a seat for you’ she said with a smile. I felt relieved. I really wanted a coffee, and was feeling a little fragile, as resilient as I am, if she’d said no, I think I might have cried.
Since I was already for all accounts completely stuffed, the thing that caught my eye was the goats milk chocolate pot with caramelised Beetroot and cream. It landed in front of me, in a chilled rustic looking pot. The chocolate had a beautiful sheen to it and was decadent and rich. The cream was the perfect foil to cut the sweetness. My favourite bit though was the caramelised Beetroot. They were crunchy and sticky and sweet, with an obvious but delicate beetroot flavour and the juice of the Beetroot oozed over the chocolate. The textures are all different, and mingle together to create the perfect decadent mouthful.
The menu at Poco looks so delicious that I would have ordered a meal in a heartbeat if I wasn’t already full. The food is seasonal tapas, made with 100% seasonal, organic, locally grown vegetables and free range meat. The back of the menu lists all of the places that the get their produce, and isn’t it nice to be able to know where your food comes from?
The chocolate pot is very rich, enough for two really, and I think it might have benefitted from a slightly lighter more airated cream, but since i’m alone, more for me! At this point i’m feeling almost thankful that the other places were unfriendly.
I’m planning to pay another visit to Poco. Because their menu reads fantastically, and I know where all the produce comes from. The food (that other people were eating) looked so delicious that it took all my self control not to steal a bite off their plate. My chocolate pot was so tasty that despite being completely stuffed, I practically licked the bowl, but mostly, honestly, because they were kind enough to invite me in, warmly, a put me in a corner.
Poco (Broadway Market)- A: 129 Pritchard’s Rd, London E2 9AP T: 020 7739 3042