Nothing lasts forever, but sometimes some things last a long time, while others outstay their welcome and squirm as they punch above their weight. A bit like Gordon Brown. K2 Coffee House however, has proved that the local café is still what we want. No chains, no franchising, no nonsense. The ‘City within a City’ of Llandaff is quite the hub of independents – minus a couple of Brains pubs, you’d be forgiven for believing calculated marketing never happened what with the generous array of local choice available on High Street. Just ignore Spar, for God’s sake.
In this grand old day and age (the Earth’s 4.54 billion years old, did you know?), the recession, the public’s affection for global, recognisable names and Vouchercloud deals, you’d think that 14 years of strong, quality presence is about as impossible as an invisible bike helmet, but you’d be mistaken as Lady K & Sir K still proudly serve some mighty fine breakfast with that trusting, happy service that you just don’t get anywhere other than humble yet proud independents. We’ve made our affection for ‘the little guys’ very clear here in the EATCardiff greenhouse, and places like K2 prove how valuable they are.
For a small place, there’s plenty on. Sit in with a paper and coffee at the front and take in the Daily Express’ usual Madeline McCann / Princess Diana / Cancer cure / Apocalyptic weather (play ‘Express Bingo’ here) reports conscience-free, knowing that you’re supporting a great cause. Just try not to let the dross of that rag get you down.
So, the choice is yours. Venture past the counter and take a seat at a table (if there’s one spare) and let the folks look after you. It really isn’t just a fry-up venue – we’ve thoroughly enjoyed a sweet chilli chicken baguette on many-an-occasion on lunch breaks in the past. There are indeed fry-ups, but also sandwiches, ‘classic’ British dishes and enough chocolate cake for even us.
In case they’re too busy to get to you straight away, K2 are well aware of the fact that you may wish to completely ignore the company you may have brought with you by providing free wi-fi to ‘noscialise’ with. And aren’t we glad? Not because we didn’t wish to chat with our company, but because we too are wholly dependent on constant internet like the government are to increasing VAT on a whim. The bastards.
Our primary focus of this visit was experiencing a mighty fine English breakfast that had evaded us for far too long. Fried, hockey-puck-shaped pig’s blood just needs to be experienced more regularly than we’re getting around to. These cravings made the menu choice about 300% easier as we looked no further than the breakfast section (served all day; it’d be rude not to).
‘Breakfast 1’ tickled our fancies sufficiently to not think twice about, which contained two sausages, two eggs, two pieces of smoked back bacon, chips, lovely thick white toast, baked beans and a hastily-added black pudding for 85p extra. Perhaps a little pricey, but the cost of the mains is so low across the board that it’s hard to argue with. That, plus a freshly-squeezed Americano gradually woke us up.
Then the food woke our taste buds. Okay, it’s a fry-up, and they’re not hard to do, but kudos for presentation and how perfectly deep-fried it all was. If the mood is right (usually a hangover) then a good bout of espresso, black pudding and bacon cannot fail to haul you from the depths of dehydrated misery. God bless whoever invented the pig. No other animal has rescued us from horrendous head aches quite like Babe and his mates have.
Anyway, let’s not discredit K2 here, it’s very possible to rename the fry-up to ‘cock-up’. For proof, go to the Oystercatcher in Penarth to see how it isn’t done. It was just what was needed, and while the sausages weren’t of the highest quality, it didn’t matter. There’s no need for complications. It’s deep-fried food, and something which Heston Blumethal completely missed the point with when trying to reverse Little Chef’s fortunes. The idiot.
It’s about simplicity. Deliver that in an inviting environment and you’ll live for at least 14 years. Just ask K2.
Even better, add cake to that, and it’s game over. The white chocolate brownie was as moist as a Welsh winter, and tasted as good as Kelly Brook smothered in whipped cream. Add to that a dark chocolate fudge cake with squirty cream (we were a tad disappointed it wasn’t clotted or whipped) and it’s an excellent, inexpensive visit to a friendly, locally-owned independent that deserves your hard-earned, or not so hard-earned, cash.
No website, but find K2 on Twitter, by yer: @K2CoffeeHouse
Don’t take our word for it: