Saturday, 19 September 2015

Spoonfuls of smiles: Take them to the Cereal Killer Café

“So I can have coco-pops for lunch?” my daughter double-checks with me. “With Maltesers on top and chocolate milk?”

"Yep." Not that it was sitting easily with me. I’m one of those mean mothers who only has sensible cereals in the food cupboard. You know, the good old-fashioned, not so sugary ones ...
But come on, I'd told my inner health freak, look at the quirk factor here: A café that only sells cereal. For breakfast, lunch or dinner. With 120 different types of cereal from all over the world. Plus 30 varieties of milk, from banana to bubble gum flavour, and 24 choices of topping. And – get this – it's run by identical twins.

How can I resist?

It takes us a while to find it. We know it's on Brick Lane, but from the outside it’s an unassuming little place. There isn't even a sign.
But the queue inside the door at 12.30 pm tells me it probably doesn't need one. It seems cereal for lunch is pretty popular with the young and trendy Shoreditch crowd.

As we wait in the queue, we are both in awe of the astonishing array of cereals on the shelves. 
Cereals we never even knew existed: Poppin Pebbles, Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Jif ... (Jif???). They even sell cereal flavour lip salves for goodness sake.
It's quite clear what we have to do ...
But the choice is overwhelming ...
As the letters dance before my eyes, I hear all sorts of sickly conversations going on in the queue. “I don't know whether to have caramel milk or pink yoghurt," I overhear one girl saying. "I'm going to have a crushed Flake as my topping," says another, "Or Party Rings."
My body is not at all happy with this situation. It is craving intense savouriness with a bucket of lettuce on the side. It knows what it likes at lunch time and this isn’t it. I wonder if it'd be too weird if I order All Bran with fresh fruit.

My daughter, meanwhile, is droolingly happy. “Ooh, I can’t decide whether to have Coco Pops or Frosties,” she says. "Don't you want to try something a bit more unusual?" I ask. “But I’ve only had Coco Pops once, at nanny’s house, and they were really nice," she says. "They made the milk go all brown.”

Luckily for her, when we get to the front of the queue, it turns out that if you order a medium size bowl, you can have a mix of two cereals. 
So she opts for Frosties and Coco Pops with plain semi-skimmed milk (surprisingly conservative) – which is served in one of those dinky little bottles we used to get our mid-morning milk in when I was at primary school  topped with mini marshmallows.
In the meantime, I've had a word with myself about entering the spirit and all that and order a bowl of Chocolate Shreddies. (Small. With soy milk. No toppings.)
We go to the main seating area in the basement, which is decked out with formica tables and vintage TVs.
My daughter is quite intrigued by these. She wants to know which decade each is from and what type I had when I was a kid.

“So, how is it?” I ask her.
“Delicious,” she says, barely taking a breath between spoonfuls, eyes smiling, hand almost a blur.
“And do the marshmallows go well with it?” “Yes!" she says. "In my opinion, marshmallows go well with EVERYTHING! Even green tea!”

The bill comes to £6.50 total. I could buy three boxes of cereal with that, I think. But it was worth it for the experience and my daughter’s beaming smile.

Not to mention her superb chocolate moustache. 

The Cereal Killer Café now has two branches, this one in Shoreditch and one in Camden. Visit the website here.


  1. Wow, that sounds so unique! What an amazing amount of choice, your daughter was very conservative, my kids would have been in their element. I on the other hand would have felt like you did. Sounds like something to experience if you're in the area.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    1. I know - my only disappointment was that the identical twin owners weren't there (probably down the road eating salad on their lunch break!)

  2. Sounds a very unique place and definitely worth a visit if in either of the areas. Not overly healthy but my children would love it!! #letkidsbekids

    1. Yes, definitely one to be presented to them as a treat!

  3. Well, that's certainly original, Claire. I'm sure the kids love it, though my choice would be quite boring, I'm sure. I'm a cheerios and strawberry girl.

    1. Not as boring as me! I'm a porridge with pumpkin seeds girl!

  4. This place is definitely a heaven for my kids to visit! (&me! haha!) Such a joyful place. :) x #letkidsbekids

    1. Sadly, the cafe was attacked last night - people protesting about the 'gentrification' of the Shoreditch area. I don't think a small business like this is a fair target, but I guess it stands out as a very obvious symbol of the gentrification.