A trip to Kentish Town Road’s Caribbean/Latin fusion specialists Guanabana has been a truly unique Kentish Town dining option for years, but what of their recent expansion next door, opening a new cafe/deli?
Late last year we chanced upon some dramatic changes afoot at the neighbouring one-time Somali social club, slightly notorious back in its day as a hotspot for chewing khat leaves, an activity which produces a curiously amphetamine-like high, followed by the predictably grim set of lows to boot.
Suddenly the place was all stripped back woodwork, nice cakes in the window and coffee as the most stimulating natural high on offer. A passage was knocked through from Guanabana’s lovely back garden, revealing an equally large, bright and airy conservatory area for the café. Yet despite its instant quirky charms, the venture got off to a slightly faltering start.
Passing trade had to enter via the main restaurant, before navigating the new route through the big hole in the wall, which was frankly a little confusing. This has all been sorted out now and the roughly hewn décor, plus fast-growing cake selection is starting to look like a very promising addition to the lower parts of the High St.
The coffee ticks all the organic and Fairtrade boxes. On the day we dropped by, there was a particularly rich and dark, 100% Peruvian Arabica being served. It was punchy and flavoursome, proving a real taste alternative to the blends found at the other coffee specialists like Arancini, Doppio and the Wine Cellar on the way up to the tube.
With the Columbian breakfasts also carving a bit of a reputation, we can see ourselves spending many more caffeinated mornings in the Guanabana Café’s bohemian surrounds.