Worth the hype? In our digital world, filled with gorgeous food pics from Instagram, drool-worthy food videos on Facebook, and constant articles on the trendiest new places to visit, how can we know where is actually worth eating, and what’s just good lighting? To solve this new-age dilemma I bring you ‘Worth the hype’ where I’ll be checking out all the new trendiest food places that you’ve seen plastered all over the internet! A cafe just for cereal? Really, how millennial…
So I’m sure you’ve heard about the Cereal Killer Cafe, a hot spot for Instagram-worthy shots, founded by the blatantly hipster Keery brothers (their chunky beards and obsession with all things ‘90s gives it away). Their original Brick Lane location has had a lot of publicity, notably for its nostalgia fuelled décor and its “problematically” high pricing (for what is essentially a cheap breakfast staple). For many locals it felt like a poignant example of gentrification, at a time when much of east London is suffering from a widening inequality gap. Ultimately this disconnect led to massive protests along Brick Lane, cumulating with red paint being thrown at the café and ‘scum’ being scrawled on the window.
Despite this, the Cereal Killer Cafe has continued to exceed expectations, opening cafes in Camden, Birmingham, and interestingly enough in Kuwait. With this incredible expansion, endless Instagram shots, and numerous articles enticing tourists to visit the cafe, the product must be great, right?
I went to check out the original Brick Lane cafe to see if it really is ‘Worth the hype’.
Upon entering the cafe I was overwhelmed with the bright colours of cereal boxes stacked on the walls, and the energetic atmosphere of the young tourists grinning with the prospect of their sugary ‘meal’. Looking around, I was intrigued to find a portrait of Dexter made entirely of Cheerios hanging on the wall – who knew that art and cereal could go so well together! Behind the counter where the ‘chefs’ were busy preparing the bowls were the numerous boxes of cereals you could choose including American classics such as Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles and Captain Crunch, as well as seven (!) different types of Cheerios. A chalkboard on the wall next to the counter lists the ‘cereal cocktails’ available, which are essentially suggested combinations of cereals, including toppings and milks. However there is an option to mix and match and make your own creation. I decided to create my own bowl: Reese’s puffs and the Penguins of Madagascar cereal (essentially coco pops with marshmallows) paired with hazelnut milk.
“Having calmed the waves of nostalgia I decided it was time to actually try my creation”
After ordering we took our bowls downstairs to the larger part of the café. It felt like an explosion of 90s pop culture contained in one room. There were old school television sets lining the walls with FRIENDS video tapes playing on them, posters of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, actual Cabbage Patch Kids on top of shelves, and random obscure toys which I’m sure some ‘90s geeks would freak out over.
Finally we settled down into our seats, which were in fact single beds, evoking the feeling of being in your childhood bedroom.
Having calmed the waves of induced nostalgia I decided it was time to actually try my creation. Fortunately milk is served on the side in a little glass bottle so there were no worries of soggy cereal. I poured about half of my milk onto my extremely chocolatey combination and took my first spoonful. I could almost feel the sugar rush as I crunched down on the combination of chocolate and peanut butter cereals. While it was extremely sweet the hazelnut milk balanced it out to an extent making it quite moreish. Although I enjoyed it (I mean who doesn’t love cereal) at the end of the day it was just a bowl of cereal and for the price it felt a bit extravagant.
Worth the Hype?
The Cereal Killer Cafe is the kind of place to go if you want step into a 90s childhood however it does just feel a little bit over the top considering all you are actually eating is cereal…
Cereal cocktails (combination of cereals, toppings and milk): £5
The décor (and being able to watch FRIENDS while you eat)
The price for what it is