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Reviews

Nude Espresso: Eggbloggers Get Naked In Shoreditch

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Nude Espresso, 26 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR

Following a hot lead concerning ‘excitable whispers’ about the Eggy B at Nude Espresso from Malcolm Eggs of the London Review Of Breakfasts we decided to check out this little coffee shop and cafe near to Brick Lane in the East End.

We hopped off the bus at Aldgate and strolled up past Spitalfields Market. We had to squeeze our way past a gaggle of Shoreditch trendies, eager for their mid-morning caffeine hit. It’s always a good sign if there’s a queue out the door – but luckily for us, the 5-minute wait was for espressos and cappuccinos to go – and there was plenty of room at the tables through the back.

We managed to tear ourselves away from the mouth-watering piles of cakes, croissants, sandwiches and pastries (including very home-made-looking scones and cute little fruit tarts) and found ourselves a table in a corner.

Nude Espresso’s name suggests the owners are more proud of their coffee than their food offerings – so we had quite low expectations of the food in all honesty. It’s definitely a coffee shop, not a restaurant. But the aroma of freshly-ground beans and the long trail of tattoo-sporting art-student types in neon shorts, asymmetric hair cuts and 50s Ray Bans showed they were doing something right with the drinks, so we were hopeful the food would be up to the mark too.

The Place:

Despite being located smack bang in the middle of the arty fashion quarter of East London, Nude Espresso keeps the interior clean and minimalist, with black leather benches against the wall, and decent sized square tables with stylish but comfy wooden stools and chairs. They keep the walls pretty bare, with a couple of mirrors and some picture frames around the latest printed notices (telling us of their newly-opened sister cafe in Soho). There are no menus on the table, just a chalkboard listing the various dishes on offer – it’s not an extensive menu, but all the breakfast classics were there.

The clientele was a mix of foreign tourists exploring the buzzing markets of Spitalfields and Brick Lane, a few runners who’d just completed a nearby 10k run and were looking for some refreshment, a few couples just passing the time and – weirdly – a guy top to toe in cycling lycra, enjoying an espresso while reading Racing Through The Dark: The Rise And Fall Of David Millar. Well, the Tour De France is in mid-flow, but it was an odd choice of outfit, nonetheless.

It’s in a perfect location for anyone exploring the galleries, boutiques, markets and stalls which fill the streets and market squares to the east of Liverpool Street. We thoroughly recommend whiling away some time listening to some random tunes and messing about in the brilliant old-skool photo booth in Rough Trade, and taking a wander around the stalls and retro-fashion shops off Brick Lane.

The Service:

You order your food from the till with your drinks rather than waiting for someone to come and take your order, but there was no wait for us happily. The only disappointment was a hand-written note taped to the side of the coffee machine which read ‘No Tea Today’….! When we saw this our hearts sank – as readers of the blog will know, we like to have tea and orange juice with our breakfast. So, we opted for Plan B – or plan C – for cappuccino. Nude Espresso is famed for its coffee after all – and the beans were clearly popular with the locals.

The nice lady who took our order poured me out a couple of orange juices and told us they’d bring over our drinks and eggs when they were ready. The cappuccinos were with us within 5 minutes – and as you’ll see from the photos – they were very prettily done, and smelled amazing!

It wasn’t clear if service was included in the price of the food/drinks.

The EGGS!:

Within 10 minutes two steaming dishes of eggs benedict were delivered to our table. The eggy b at Nude Espresso consists of the usual double eggs, with ham, and hollandaise served with a sprinkling of chopped chives. Instead of the traditional toasted english muffin, they serve with toasted rustic bread.

We both agree that the tangy, lemony and peppery hollandaise served up by the nice people at Nude Espresso is the BEST we’ve had so far. It’s not too heavy and full of flavour. The eggs themselves were perfectly cooked, with bright yellow yolks which burst out and mingled beautifully with the hollandaise. There was plenty of ham – which was of a good thickness and texture. We were divided over the substitution of french-style toast instead of muffin – it was quite rough on the mouth and tough to cut, but it tasted great and what we think was the saltiness of the butter boosted the flavour of the rest of the plate. We both finished up with big smiles on our faces, and we’d definitely recommend Nude Espresso to our friends.

All of the food is British produce and the eggs are free-range.

Style: Classic with toast rather than muffins
Taste: 10/10
Originality: 7/10
Value: 7/10 (£8 for two eggs)
Eggsecution (Cooking Of Eggs): 9/10

Will we be going back?  Definitely – we didn’t get as much time as we’d have liked to check out Brick Lane, so when we head back we’ll know where to stop for brunch. Check out the website here.

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About eggbloggers

Eggs benedict lovers - well, lovers of all nice food really! (Apart from mushrooms)

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