Cafe Azul's warmth seems to have made it a local favourite for winter catch ups in Richmond. Despite the cramped seating, Azul is filled with effortless conversations that give this little cafe a great homely vibe. The friendly service women, who all seem disproportionally bubbly considering how busy it is, do not detract from this either.
But as I write this, one thought keeps floating through my head: why did they go with Azul as a name? Staring at me (pre-brunch) from the top of a google search, I wasn't sure whether this cafe was going to look like a pit filled with Lovecraftian demons, or a snug little nook.
On first inspection, Azul's breakfast menu seems a bit long. In my experience, long lists increase the chances that there will be a few duds on the menu. And no one wants to be the one who ordered the worst looking breakfast. With that in mind, it pays to start snooping on what everyone else around you is ordering. Both the Mediterranean scrambled eggs and the bacon breakfast rolls that I saw people ordering looked big and appetising, with generous portions of eggs and bacon. The harvest breakfast, corn fritters and gypsy ham sandwiches all also looked mouth-wateringly good.
While I ordered the Mediterranean eggs thanks to the meals of my fellow brunchers, my friend threw caution to the wind and gambled on the poached eggs with haloumi and avocado. Unfortunately while the Mediterranean eggs were tasty, with the tomato flavour shining through, my friends selection of poached eggs and haloumi was rather paltry- almost a third of the size of my meal. And his meal actually cost the same as mine.
Unfortunately for Azul, the coffee they served us was burnt as well. Having said that, I have heard from others that their coffee can be good – it just depends on the staff and when you order it. A lesson to be learnt, perhaps, about busy cafes, like Cafe Azul, that offer to much. It pays to know in advance what you are ordering.