There's a new Antipodean style cafe on the way to Hoxton, coming from the team of Anthony Dyer and Man Wong. We caught up with Anthony Dyer to find out more...
What can you tell us about Friends of Ours?
Our aim is simple - we want to serve delicious house made produce and specialty coffee, seven days a week. We want the cafe to care equally about the standard of its food, as it does its coffee and we want to keep things interesting and seasonal with regular menu changes.
But more importantly, we want to give Hoxton its individuality back. Recent years have seen the "chains" move in, and we want to create somewhere with a neighbourhood feel that locals can feel welcomed. We've built a cafe where our coffee counter serves as the central axis for various areas: window seats to watch the world go by, a large sharing table for big groups, intimate couples tables and alcove seating to crash out in. We wanted to step away from the industrial/warehouse look, and have attempted to create a space that's light, open and sleek. We can seat 25 and we have a big sharing table that we can squeeze large groups of 8 round.
And how about yourselves?
We both met working for a recruitment firm in the City. One day, a stark realisation hit that we both spent more time seeking out new lunch destinations and exchanging food recipes and ideas than we did on our jobs.
Anthony quit first and travelled to Melbourne where he worked in a friend's cafe. On Anthony's return we've spent the past 12 months working on this project. Being best mates has had its ups and downs. We lived together (much to Man's wife's delight!), searched for properties together, tried menu ideas together, attempted latte art together and have spent the past 3 months refurbishing an old fried chicken shop together.
What can we expect from the food at Friends of Ours?
Our menu has been based on our experiences of cafe food from Australia, New Zealand, and of course here in the UK. There are classics a few classics with a twist, and new ideas never seen in London before. It's been created in close collaboration with our Head Chef - Sebastion Harris. Sebastion trained at Fifteen under Jamie Oliver and has spent the past few years working at gastropubs across London.
We're working with local suppliers. Our meat and fish come from both The Cookery and Sutton & Sons on Stoke Newington High St, our pastries from Yeast in Broadway market and our cakes from Knead in Broadway market. Some example dishes from the menu will include:
- Sweet potato & courgette rosti with poached eggs, crispy smoked bacon & avocado
- Posh cheese on toast - Blue cheese polenta, creamed wild mushrooms, truffle oil & micro basil
- Buttermilk fried chicken with roasted potato waffle, cherry ketchup & nasturtium
Friends of Ours opens on February 23 at 61 Pitfield Street, Hoxton, N1 6BU. The opening hours are Monday to Friday - 7am till 5pm, Saturday and Sunday - 9am till 5pm. For the latest information, follow them on Twitter @friends_ofours