The cosy, lively and welcoming vibe of the local Jericho Café on Walton Street draws you in. A few punters are sitting outside, soaking up some of the rare rays of the UK sun. There’s a line at the counter of weekend brunch-goers, and some customers searching for a free table. This isn’t just some run-of-the-mill chain restaurant.
We are greeted by the friendly owner, Ruth, who explained some of her backstory and the history of the café. Ruth did an MSc in Linguistics at Oxford and then found herself the owner of this fine establishment. She explains the painting drawn along the corner of the wall, showing all the Jericho shop fronts in 1997. The only one that is still the same is The Jericho Café.
After a lively bop the night before, we hungrily anticipated our late brunch. The café serves brunch till 6pm, which is fantastic news for all those brunch-lovers like myself who are terrible at getting out of bed in the morning.
It’s no surprise this reliable and locally-run café has been around and successful for so long
We perused the extensive, locally sourced blackboard menu, and jumped straight to some typical brunch items – the avocado toast with a side of crispy bacon, and the bacon and eggs waffles. We were both impressed with the level of crispiness of our back bacon – something that can be a rarity in UK cafés and college halls. I’ve gotten all too used to saying no to bacon in fear that I will be served a greasy, undercooked, thick pink slab of what looks like ham.
The waffles were nice and crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. Coated with a generous serving of maple syrup, the sweet and savoury combination with the bacon and eggs was delightful. The fried eggs were a perfect addition, and were nice and runny on the inside.
The avocado toast came on sourdough bread, which always pairs well with avocado. Pesto, savoury roasted seeds (which is just a fancy way of describing seeds I suppose), and cherry tomatoes complemented the lemony avocado flavour.
We washed our drinks down with a green tea (tea bag, not free leaves) and an American coffee, which could have been slightly stronger.
Verdict: It’s no surprise this reliable and locally-run café has been around and successful for so long. This is a great place to pop into on a late Sunday morning, or during the week for a study sesh, or to debrief over last night’s date with a friend.