You might remember the Cereal Killer Cafe from a few years back, as it courted controversy in the news when it was opened by two Belfast born hipsters, Alan and Gary Keery, in the Tower Hamlets borough of London.
You might also remember the rapturous indignation and protests from performatively woke people who revelled in the idea that an independent business selling novelty, albeit overpriced, foods might be the cause of all of the many deep rooted problems that neoliberalism has long saturated us in, wildly oblivious to the many multinational corporations that riddle every British high street like acne who have and will continue to cause more financial and social equality than any expensive bowl of fucking cereal could ever snap crackle and pop over.
Well, anyway, theyre still going. And now theyve added a savoury menu and alcoholic beverages to their menu!
Is it still ok to enjoy overpriced novelty foods from this restaurant despite the fact that pretty much half of the restaurants in London serve the exact same thing? Who even f***ing knows anymore!
We wanted to show that cereal doesnt have to be contained to a bowl, its an incredibly versatile ingredient, Gary and Alan explain.
We started experimenting with cooking with cereal when we released our cookbook, so when we secured our new location on Brick Lane, we wanted to evolve the business and give our customers an experience like no other.
Stepping into the restaurant was much like stepping into my sugar addled prepubescent brain as it darted its attention around the 90s with reckless abandon.
Analogue TVs playing VHS cartoons of Street Sharks, rainbow coloured pop nostalgia, toys, insanely rare cereal boxes, Tellytubby bedsheets, it was the perfect visual representation of the kinds of cereal they serve up, an aesthetic packed with e-numbers that verged on the overwhelming, but all very fun.
We were greeted with one Frosties and one Coco Pop latte, which both didnt really taste much like coffee but both tasted a lot like the milk at the end of a bowl of either one of those cereals. It was quite intense.
We then tried a few cocktails: one Long Island Iced Tea that had a very intruiging shimmering liquid on top that looked like an oil spillage, which was sharp and well mixed, and one Coco Pop White Russian, which actually tasted like the afore mentioned end of a bowl of cereal milk, but with so much alchohol that I, a borderline functioning alcoholic, couldnt finish it.
On to the savoury menu though.
I picked some of their most popular dishes: Cornflake Chicken; a crispy friend chicken with a signature seasoned cornflake crust, Mozzarella Toast Crunch; or cinnamon cereal coated mozzarella sticks, Spicy Cornflake Mac n Cheese; which was mac and cheese with a crispy chilli cornflake topping and their Bran Fries, which were french fries in a crunchy, crisp Bran Flake outer.
And if youre reading this and thinking Wow some of those sound really nice but some of those sound awful, then youre entirely correct.
The cornflake chicken was bang on the money, the coating was crisp and meat tender, and hot sauce serving was tangy and went perfectly with it. But the bran fries just looked like soggy brown chips – the bran element added nothing and may have made them worse.
The mac and cheese was delicious, – the crispy chilli cornflake topping worked so well to balance out the creamy cheese – but the cinnamon mozzarella sticks just tried to wedge a sweet element into a fried cheese dish, which is already overwhelmingly rich as it is. It made me feel a bit queasy.
Its not that everything was bad, but the kicker came when I tried some of their home made cereal (Salty Balls, Unicorn Poop, names like that), because it was excellent.
I understand the Cereal Killer lads wanting to expand their menu, and some of it definitely worked, but what works best is staring them right in the face: their knowledge and ability to make cereals that are so tasty it basically makes you buzz out for a few minutes.