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Shot Espresso Cafe, Fulham, London SW6

July 25, 2013

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It’s a rare thing for the Single Gourmet Traveller to go to a new coffee shop and not try the coffee. But it was 6.00 p.m. on a hot and sunny July evening and there was a touch of Venice in the air. This wasn’t coffee time, but the perfect time for an aperitivo and cicchetti. And to add to the Venice atmosphere I was meeting up with Amanda who I first met in Venice in April on the first evening of my holiday when I’d gone a little restaurant, Osteria Mocenigo, near my hotel to eat. I was delighted to get an email from Amanda on Monday telling me that she and her husband Matt would be in London this week and suggesting we meet up. When I first met her, she told me a friend of theirs, John, was opening a coffee shop in London and that’s where we met.

The cafe is situated just off the Fulham Road in Jerdan Place in a bustling and vibrant area close to Fulham Broadway. I know the area quite well having worked there for a time and really like it. It was such a gloriously hot evening and I found Amanda sitting outside with Matt. It was great to see her again and meet Matt and soon we were joined by their friends Ryan and Melina. They all come from Australia though their heritage is mixed. Matt is half Italian and while he and Amanda have been living in Italy for a few months on their European trip, he’s looked up family in the Abruzzo. John – the cafe owner – is an old school friend of his and is also part Italian (I think – he certainly looks it). The cafe was full of Italians and what could be more appropriate than soon finding an Aperol spritzer before me – a Venetian favourite.

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The cafe offers an ‘aperitivo hour’ deal of drink and snacks for £7. We’d barely taken a first sip of our drinks when plates of food started arriving. First came wonderful bruschetta with lovely toppings.

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John later told me they were all home-made using organic ingredients. They were really good. By chance, I’d had a plate of cicchetti for lunch in a new local cafe I tried out with a friend. Despite being run by Italians, I found the lunchtime ones very disappointing and far too English. At Shot Espresso however it was a real Italian experience. They were delicious. Then came platters of very thinly sliced meats.

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These were wonderful too. There is something about cutting meat this thinly that enhances the flavour; it really does taste different to thick cuts. Little dishes with chunks of Parmesan came too.

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It was all so simple yet because the quality was excellent it was a delight to eat with our chilled spritzers. I went inside to take a look and John showed me fabulous cakes: summer fruits and lemon & poppy seed. He told me they bought these from Spyros Parissi who bakes from home and has just started a catering business. I just know I’m going to have to go back to try one of these another day with some coffee. Don’t they look amazing!

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The cafe serves ‘breakfast and all-day treats’. Breads, quiches, croissants and viennoiserie come from Sally Clarke’s. The transition from breakfast to lunch to an evening bar selling snacks and cocktails is a smooth one. Enjoying the aperitivo hour was great with friends but I could have just as easily stopped by at that time for coffee and a snack. As it was, sitting the Amanda and the others was a lovely way to spend an early evening. The sun blazed down on us; the drinks and food were great and it was almost like being on holiday.

L to R: Ryan, Melina, Amanda, John, Matt, Kay

L to R: Ryan, Melina, Amanda, John, Matt, Kay

So buon viaggio to Amanda and Matt. It was great to meet up. Enjoy the rest of your trip! As for John and his great cafe, I’ll be heading back soon to try some more … and have a coffee, of course!

3 Comments
  1. It’s made my morning to wake and read this. It really was such a great afternoon. Huge congrats to John on raising the bar when it comes to coffee in London. Shot Espresso is a cute little Aussie-Italian hub!

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