Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Enis's Cafe, Waterloo

Saturday morning is fry-up time. Off then to my local (quirky) greasy spoon, Enis's, on Waterloo Road - right opposite the station.

£5.95 for a full breakfast. Reassuringly expensive, I thought. Mmm, this is what I need - a meaty sausage, a couple of rashers of bacon, an egg, hash browns, a grilled tomato and all washed down with a cup of tea.

What's that? An extra 50p for tea? Oh, OK then - this must be really good.

Hmm, what's this? A card advertising some kind of elixir? Sounds slightly sinister. "Excuse me?" I asked the waitress, "What exactly is this... thing?" 

"I'm afraid I'm not qualified to answer that," was the reply from Jo, Enis's partner.

OK, so she's a little odd. And I can deal with the elixir mystery. "It's like the League of Gentlemen in here," my friend said.

And she was right. Enis's cafe became threatening all of a sudden. The elixir is advertised everywhere, while the walls are psychedelically decorated as if to try to put you off your food. As for the waitress, I began to wonder what she was plotting.

Out came Enis with the food. Phewff, a happy smiley man. "Full breakfast?" "Yes please!"
Wait a minute. What's this? Undercooked bacon avec puddle of oil, burnt sausage, slice of grilled tomato and a tablespoon of baked beans? The egg looked passable, but it was fried. I wanted poached. 

"Sorry mate, I'm not paying six quid for this. This is a kid's portion."

"It's a full portion, you can't argue with it," Enis replied sharply.

Jo's mood had since taken a turn for the worse. Out came the toast. "Here's the rest of your 'full portion'," she said, sarcastically.

The crusts proudly displayed clumps of mould. This must be a wind up, I thought.

With three out of seven appalling looking breakfasts served and not touched, we asked Enis and Jo for our money back. I was still in shock that they could justify charging in excess of £6 for this - no wonder there weren't any other customers in here.

"How dare you ask for your fucking money? You have to pay," was Enis's response as he locked us into his little hell-hole cafe. Yep, we were suddenly under lock and key and at his mercy.

Jo then went off on a tirade of verbal of abuse. The girls I were with were suddenly "bitches", while her sweaty, deranged face turned to me and called me a "creep".
We were completely perplexed by what was happening. All we had asked for was our money back after being unsatisfied with the shockingly awful food they had served us.

Enis then joined in, slamming his fist on the table, shouting every insult under the sun. The pair of them had flipped and there was no escape. This was getting scary. 

"Do you wanna fucking black eye? Do ya? Eh?" Enis screamed at me, his nose almost touching mine.

Meanwhile, Jo was convinced this was a set-up. "I can't believe this is happening," she said. "This is so unfair, Enis. We've been set up by these naughty children."

Convinced that we were about to receive some kind of physical punishment from the new Tubbs and Edward, my friend called 999 and asked for the police, despite Enis's attempts to wrestle the phone from her grip.

We had rattled them. Enis and Jo were displaying the most extraordinary paranoia I had ever witnessed, but it was time to let us out. 

He opened the door and told us to "fuck off", screaming and spitting at the floor as the police pulled up outside.

"I'm gonna watch your fucking red faces as I let you bastards out!"

Naturally, he turned the charm on when confronted by the police. One officer told me that he had called the girls "beautiful and clever" and that a simple dispute had broken out because we had refused to pay.

Because there were no other customers in the cafe - a testament to how bad it is - there was no neutral witness. He, along with his wife, got off with a warning.

But the fight doesn't end here. Lambeth Council's food safety team is "intrigued" by Enis's elixir. After some online research, it turns out that a bottle will set you back £100. Its secret ingedients are not suitable for children.

The council is so intrigued, in fact, that the cafe is due to be investigated for potential breaches of hygiene. Did I mention that Enis's kitchen is covered from ceiling to floor in tin foil? Just imagine what's living under there.

If this were a review, Enis's would score zero stars out of five. As a customer, I can just about tolerate being mildly ripped-off every now and then. I do not expect, however, to be imprisoned, served by psychopaths, threatened with physical violence and only escape after calling 999.

Enis, if you're reading this, the fight starts here.

Pic credit: cheesemonster


  1. Oh that's shocking! I'll be sure to avoid this place when I'm at uni. I hope you are not suffering from any post traumatic stress syndrome Charles.

    Facey xxx

  2. I stumbled across this place while searching for a tucked away cafe serving warm tea. What a shock i had to be greeted by this terrifying man advertising an elixir that would 'give me the stomach of a ten year old inside my older body', with a card completely ripping off the coca cola logo. Strange, strange, intriguing and strange

  3. Sadly (?) this place appears to be no more. I stumbled on this page after Googling "Enis's" as I was intrigued by the hatch on Alaska Street with pebbles set into cement and the name scrawled above. That's boarded up, as is the front entrance on Waterloo Road. Did the health inspectors finally get to him?

  4. Yes, it's been boarded up for a little while now - possibly over a year. Was amazed it lasted so long - hopefully the health inspectors stuck the boot in.