Walking down the Kilburn High Road on a Sunday, in a bit of a Côtes du Rhône Villages daze (L’Arnesque 2009 from Oddbins the previous evening – fantastic bottle of wine), I walked past a specials board enthusiastically highlighting a goat cheese omelette, chips, salad and freshly-squeezed orange juice, for the reasonable price of £6.95. Accordingly, I retraced my steps and took up a seat in Ciao Ciao, where Italian football was showing, and customers relaxed outside and in. Well, most customers relaxed; unfortunately the “gentleman” next to me proceeded to repeatedly snuffle, sniff and snort like some kind of deranged farmyard animal. “Why me?” I self-pitifully whined to myself, as I imagined how I could possibly enjoy food in such circumstances.
Cheese omelettes are weird in the sense that you’re adding protein to protein; nothing wrong with that though, and this being rough ‘n’ tumble KHR I looked forward to a hunger-bashing 3-egger at the very least. Whilst waiting expectantly, a slight hitch was explained by the very sweet waitress; they’d run out of fresh juice but I could have ‘normal’ orange juice instead. Not the end of the world, though I noted that big grocery shop almost next door, and all the other shops selling fruit outside. (I once spotted one of the Tiffin Tin chefs pegging it up the road having sourced a solitary carrot from George’s on Mill Lane – rather odd in a number of ways!)
Anyway, food arrived, and right away I could see that these guys knew how to make a decent omelette. None of that stupid Saturday Kitchen ‘challenge’ nonsense here. Very neat, well cooked at the edges, and a touch baveuse in the middle (please tell me that’s the right word and spelling, I’m not Googling it a third time) – with the familiar, melting tang of goat cheese working very well indeed. However (adopts serious face and raised eyebrows) – this was clearly only a 2-egger (damn!), and being lightly cooked and straight onto a cold plate, was a little lukewarm. Chips and salad were fine, and always reassuring to find a bottle of tomato ketchup readily available.
I was just a little disappointed to be charged the full price given the orange juice thing, especially with the omelette being a little lightweight, and then seeing Brondes Age next door offering up a full brekko for £5. But perhaps I’ll pop back sometime, (maybe on one of their jazz nights?), as Ciao’s a cheery little place with some simple, reliable menu options for a Sunday hangover – pizza, pasta, baked potatoes, salads etc..
Perhaps I’ll pop next door first though, and bring along an extra egg and a handful of oranges!