Hurrah! Finally we have had coffee worth writing about and a cafe breakkie to match. Allow me to introduce you to Lantana, a small packed out cafe pumping out great food in Charlotte Lane, a cute little lane just a couple of turns off the busy (and ugly) Tottenham Court Road.
After the first sip of my cappuccino, I wanted to kiss the barista. Aahh decent coffee at last. Coffee lovers will know how important this is!
We missed breakfast service, arriving just before midday. However, the lunch menu offered some brunch type dishes. Zorba went for the BERT – an open toasted sandwich on thickly sliced bread with crispy bacon, rocket, a fried egg, tomato and aioli (7.50 pounds). He wasn’t speaking much as he wolfed that down!
I had the corn fritters with crispy bacon, fresh rocket, slow roast tomatoes, chilli jam and crème fraiche (10 pounds) and added a fried egg. Like Zorba, I didn’t chat much during our meal either! We were starving and so happy to be eating decent food.
We both had a second cappuccino after our meals. Couldn’t resist!
Zorba had been grumpy for two days and I’m sure it was because he wasn’t able to have a good morning coffee. He was fed up with eating a rubbish breakfast after a very disappointing tasteless and oily omelette at the Little Venice cafe near our rented apartment, and another average breakfast at Paddington station when we were starving and just had to eat – we expected that one to be average, but really just needed something in our tummies.
The service was quite relaxed. We were greeted and seated straight away and given water promptly without asking. We had to stop a waitress and ask her to take our order as we’d been waiting, ready to order for more than ten minutes (and we were starving!). Also, it took longer than I would have liked for our food to come. But when it finally arrived, we were delighted with the presentation, quality, and taste. So the slight wait was soon forgotten.
Other tempting menu items included grilled haloumi and roast beetroot salad (7.50 pounds), Crispy pork belly ciabatta roll with cress and chilli mayo (12 pounds), smoked haddock, pea and lemon risotto (10 pounds), and Confit duck leg w/ red cabbage, fennel and raisin coleslaw (9.5 pounds).
Next door is the Lantana takeaway cafe where fresh looking wraps, paninis, rolls, and salads were available for those that wanted to grab something and eat elsewhere.
Lantana is touted as serving Australian style cafe food. I don’t know how Australian it is, but it is good. Very good.
There are other cafes and restaurants in Charlotte Lane yet none of them were anywhere near as packed as Lantana. We were lucky to arrive when we did, we got the last available table and a queue began to form.
lan·ta·na [lan-tan-uh]: a hardy invasive weed that thrives in unlikely environments.