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Café Olive, 192 Southgate Road, N1


Samieh and Homada

Samieh and Homada

At new kid on the block Café Olive, British Iranian Samieh and Egyptian Homada have brought the dream of an Egyptian café from Dahab near Sharm el Sheikh to De Beauvoir. (There’s a romantic story there, and a spaniel called Sphinx).

Cafe Olive

The café (previously Eggs Milk Butter) at 192 Southgate Road, is small with an eclectic mix of décor  and just five tables inside. Being set back from the road though it has a small terrace in front with tables and chairs. And of course, shisha pipes – as well as attractive old exterior tiles depicting a rustic scene. Full Egyptian breakfast (falafel, scrambled eggs, ful, tomato and feta salad, and bread) was scrumptious, and the shakshuka (eggs mixed with peppers, onion, tomatoes and herbs) ordered by the next table was generous. Mains include tagines and mezes, plus delicious choose-the-bits-yourself lunchboxes.

CakesThere is a big emphasis on health (Samieh is very into nutrition and alternative therapies) and a selection of home made cakes and fresh fruit smoothies. Next time I have the slightest hint of a sore throat it’s the Flu Buster for me: a warm mixture of ginger, lemon, mint, honey, turmeric, cayenne pepper and wheatgrass. That cold is going to cry for mercy. Meanwhile, try the Egyptian tea (sage) or if in need of a comfort drink, sahlab: the Middle Eastern equivalent of Horlicks, but with more street cred.

Sphinx the dog

Sphinx the dog

Samieh and Homada are determined to key into the community with new venture Love Kitchen. Ever thought of running a pop-up, or your own café? They will give you a chance to book the café to sell your own food, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There is a feeling of warmth and gentle kindness about this place. Feel the love.

Samieh and Homada have shared two recipes with Eat Hackney, for Egyptian lamb stew with couscous and Egyptian falafel.

Open 7.30am–5pm, Sunday to Wednesday, 7.30am– 9pm, Thursday to Saturday

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