S&M café, Islington

A while back The Italian and I were comparing the comfort values of Italian pasta versus good old British grub. Which was cosier, spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta al forno or bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie? Well, it got a bit heated there in the kitchen as the two of us fought for our respective countries, and as the discussion ping-ponged back and forth across the table I was reminded of the old Peter Sellars and Sophia Loren song – ‘bangers and mash, macaroni’. Anyway, vigorous debate led to hunger and I suggested going out for lunch to give the bangers and mash a bash.

So off we trotted to Islington, to the S&M café on Essex Road. In my book, bangers and mash is up there with fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, toad in the hole and a bacon sarney as top British comfort food, and S&M does them all. It’s no frills and workmanlike stuff. Simple food like your mum used to cook.

And it seemed appropriate to talk about S&M as the first of our favourite places to eat because they serve mash. And jolly fine mash it is, too.

The Italian polished off his plate of their traditional sausages with onion gravy and mash, then with a satisfied sigh ran his thumb round the plate to make sure he’d got every last drop of the gravy. Something told me we’d be back.

4 – 6 Essex Road
London N1 8LN
020 7359 5361


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