Don’t! Mike’s Cafe

Just don’t. I wish I could end the review here, but that would not be fair to you or to Mike’s. While I can appreciate a long-term establishment that is able to stay afloat in such an expensive, touristy area with high turnover, like Portobello Road, I just cannot put Mike’s Cafe on any sort of “must-do” or even “so-so” list.

I had to try it out of curiosity and for the sake of the blog, but had a feeling it would be on my Don’t list before I even stepped inside. Located on one of the intersecting streets to Portobello Road, you can’t miss it. Mike’s Cafe is the little diner with the bizarre oversized black awning that you actually have to duck under to get inside of the restaurant. Why anywhere in London wants to completely block out the sun is beyond me. Once inside, you are faced with the strangest hodge-podge of bad designs. There is horrible toile-like wallpaper, a few disco balls, some shabby chic mirrors, Union Jack-covered chairs and wall hangings, retro tiles and refrigerators, and really bad caricatures of the Royal Family.  All of this craziness surrounds plain, cheap wooden tables that barely fit into the place.


Strange design choices at Mike’s Cafe, Notting Hill
We walked into the diner and asked for the only table they had available. It had yet to be wiped down, so the waitress walked over with a rag and quickly swiped the crumbs onto the floor, before showing us to our sticky seats. We were also given a giant bucket that barely fit onto the table that held grimy bottles of ketchup and other condiments. So far I was not impressed, but the place was packed, so I hoped that meant that the food was going to be amazing.

The menu at Mike’s Cafe, Notting Hill
No such luck there. In the U.S., we are blessed with some of the most amazing diners in the world. Hell, we invented the diner. So, maybe my standards were a little higher than Mike’s could handle. But then again, how hard is it to make some decent eggs? We ordered basic omelettes that came with a side of chips (which I don’t understand here…the whole eggs and chips things) and some salad. The salad was also really strange. Undressed, mixed greens and then a scoop of coleslaw. Exactly what you want first thing in the morning with your eggs, right? And the portions were so unnecessarily enormous that I wondered if that was their way of apologizing for everything else? The large portions and the cheap prices.  Who knows? But all I know, is that I will not be going back and I will never understand why so many people were in there in the first place. Please take my advice on this one, and spare yourself a really pointless meal.

Bigger isn’t always better at Mike’s Cafe
Because you’re never too old for a Silly Straw?

Mike’s Cafe
12 Blenheim Crescent
London W11 1NN

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