Contrary to what you might think, Snackbar x Farmshop is not a crushingly addictive Facebook game that sells your personal data so that you can be targeted by kale-flavoured powder supplements. It’s actually an Asian-influenced breakfast-brunch-lunch café and urban farming thing on Dalston Lane, that’s very easy to lose a couple of hours and gain a couple of pounds in.
It’s open from 8am till 4pm on weekdays meaning that you could, in theory, stay here from sunrise until your sofa is a’calling. And that call will be hard to resist after their kimchi toastie. It’s a glorious and beastly golden brown mess, packed with Stichelton, cheddar, and homemade kimchi, that comes with a for-once-not-cursory-but-extremely-welcome side of tangy dressed salad.
Salads and sandwiches aren’t the only thing you can eat here, but you will find it hard to resist their crunchy and carby call. Especially when there’s the option of a caesar salad that’s heavy on crisp chicken skin and nori, or a bo ssam baguette heaving with roast pork, coriander, and chunks of fat that melt quicker than an ice cube will in 2050.
Between the colourful aesthetic, colourfully dressed clientele, and Horrors-filled soundtrack, you might expect Snackbar to be the Dalston media nodes’ favourite hangout. But you’re just as likely to find a couple of fellas tucking into a mushroom tempura and pickle-packed rice bowl here as you are a Macbook attached freelancer dipping coconut jam-filled soldiers into an onsen egg with soy (a left-field take on breakfast that everybody should be eating). It all makes for a nice and none-too-serious medley. Which is exactly how the best kind of cafs should feel.
“Eggs and soldiers, but as you’ve never seen them before”. That’s what the tagline would be if this was a film about a childhood breakfast. Seriously though, sweet coconut jam filled soldiers, green from pandan, dipped into a creamy yolk sitting in soy? Yes please.
You’re looking at that ooze, aren’t you? That gooey cheddar, blue cheese, and kimchi mess. Look at it, just spilling out all over the place. If only there was somewhere to... put... it.
Caesar salad is one of the world’s most mistreated dishes. But this one is the opposite. Every component is done excellently. It’s got moist meat, just-still-soft eggs, snappable chicken skin, iceberg-like croutons, salty nori strips, and a subtly parmesan dressing. It’s very nice.
An absolute chubber of a sub that is impossible to consume gracefully. And you absolutely shouldn’t, even if you could. You’ve got roasted pork belly (fat and all), a Korean chilli sauce, herbs, ginger-dressed spring onions, and more. It’s whole lot of mess and a whole lot of good.
You’ll get daikon pickles, kimchi, an egg yolk, and some tempura mushrooms with excellent crunch in this rice bowl. It’s a delicate and tasty bowl of food, but the flavour lacks some of the oomph of other things here.