Mooch Cafe Bar
Highly Recommended “A Touch of Bohemia”
“On and on through the rain, another bar, another cafe, all the same. Finally she saw it, she pressed her hand to glass and opened the door…”
Mooch has changed hands and reinvented itself rather gorgeously in the last year. The quote above is part of a poem displayed over the front door.
Sizeable cooked breakfasts cost £6.50 and come in meaty, vegetarian and vegan (hash browns and smoked tofu) versions. Granola, porridge, “eggy bread” with bacon or banana and syrup, hot rolls, bagels and “dippy egg with soldiers” round out a lovely breakfast menu (9am-noon).
Light meals start at £4 with hummus/olive/pitta combos. Homemade soups, nachos, bagels and ciabatta with salad are £4.50-£6.50. The nachos is big enough to share, with just the right proportions of crispy chips, tasty cheese, salsa and jalapeno. Salads are £6.75 and feature cheeses, prawns, tofu or hummus alongside veggies, leaves and fruit.
“We are not a fast food joint” says the menu and it’s true it took a while for the next course to arrive, but during that time we… slowed down and began to feel as though we were on holiday in our hometown. We found the newspaper rack. We read the menu. “We support local suppliers” it says, and “We’re all local – ask if you’d like advice about the area.”
Mooch has a vintage feel but it’s not at all kitsch. Tastefully mismatched tables, dinky chairs and squashy sofas, solid wood floors, handmade mobiles, glass cake stands, a tiny bunch of real flowers on every table… it all hangs together very well, as though decorated with complementary dashes of romance and restraint. There’s a small garden hidden out back.
Main meals (c.£7.50) include falafel, meat or veg quesadillas and burgers (bean or beef). All come with salads and interesting side dishes. The vegetable quesadilla was one of the best meals tasted during research for this Guide. The beanburger was approved by a confirmed meat-eater.
There’s a kids’ menu (£3-£5). There’s a small selection of desserts, fresh fruit smoothies and loose-leaf teas. The coffee is strong. Mooch is licensed and has a decent selection of wines, bottled beers and ciders. And wifi.