At 106 Baker Street lies a café with no name but plenty of character. The brain child of concept chef Daniele Pampagin, the café at 106 Baker Street opened its doors to the public on Monday 11 August with a promise to provide a seasonal all-day menu. With its selection of freshly prepared dishes, all sourced from London markets and Italy, this nameless café, which aims to “let the food speak for itself”, is set to be a new foodie favourite.
Set in the heart of Baker Street, the café has an intimate yet welcoming atmosphere, which is further reflected in the café’s interior, for which Pampagnin worked alongside Vaal Design to create. Presenting a modern feel with a vintage twist, the restored original Victorian fireplaces, open sash windows and the market-sourced handpicked furniture serve to give 106 Baker Street an inviting aura. Whether you want to dine alone, as a couple, or even as a group (they offer a communal table for eight), this 20-seater all-day café offers a relaxed environment and something a little different to the chain restaurants, fast food outlets and cold-sandwich cafés often associated with busy tourist areas.
“We wanted to provide a café offering a high quality alternative to the many coffee shops already in the area”, comments Pampagnin. “Baker Street is fast becoming the ultimate area for food lovers and we are proud to be one of the first independent cafes to be situated on this bustling London street”.
In order to avoid a stale menu and to keep regular customers pleasantly surprised, the café changes its menu daily. The food, which is freshly prepared on site, is beautifully presented in large baking dishes allowing customers to really see the options on offer. With a strong Italian influence, the menu includes dishes such as hand-made fresh porcini ravioli, pearl barley, quinoa, feta, mint and Italian tomato salads and fresh quiches such as the goat’s cheese and kale quiche. Sandwiches are also available throughout the day including the smoked mackerel and kale on a pretzel roll and Tuscan sausage and broccoli sandwich on dark rye with mustard mayonnaise.
On our lunch-time visit we were offered what seemed to be one of two lunch options: either a large portion, which consisted of a main dish accompanied with two salad dishes for around £7, or a small potion of three salad dishes on their own for around £4.50. For the mains there was a choice of rosemary and lime chicken, potato cake with smoked salmon, beef lasagne, beef meatballs and gratinated salmon. We opted for the latter two accompanied with a vegetable couscous and root vegetables.
While we waited for our meals we kicked things off with two of their freshly squeezed juices, recommended to us by our server – the Sicilian watermelon and the canterloupe melon. Both offered a sweet and refreshing flavour without being too sickly, and would make a great drink for a hot summer day – a definite one to try.
When our mains arrived, the gratinated salmon was perfectly cooked and seasoned well, whilst the gratin added a lovely amount of crunch to the dish. Although the meatballs were a little more to cool side of warm, they were packed full of rich flavours and were served with a tasty, tangy tomato sauce. Both dishes went well with the fresh and flavoursome cous-cous and the vibrant root vegetables, making for a highly pleasant lunch-time meal. We finished our lunch off with an aromatic Musetti Italian Coffee.
For a tranquil taste of Italian in the heart of Baker Street, 106 is definitely an experience not to be missed.
106 Baker Street is open 7.30am – 7.00pm Monday – Saturday. 106 Baker Street, London. W1U 6TW
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.