The Exquisite Peacock Emporium

Best Part: Their food and pricing, but not their spelling or lighting.

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We first thought of visiting The Exquisite Peacock Emporium in its first fortnight of business. That would have been a great idea for reporters with their fingers of the pulse. However, looking through the window I was intimidated by the dark environment. Time has passed and two followers have asked us to review it so here we go.

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Décor and Vibe

This is a very interesting establishment because it fuses industrial theme with the “sit at my kitchen table while I cook” sort of homey vibe. Of course being British, no one wanted to be conspicuous enough to sit at that large table so they filled up the small perimeter tables instead. Eventually one lone lady eater came in and there was no where else to sit but at this table for 14. Awkward! She looked very self conscious. In this front part of the café, most of the diners seemed to be female but were of mixed ages. I saw two business men buying lunch to take away and they were excited by the Chicken Tikka Panini as was my own business man companion. The back of the café was more of a lounge affair with plush seats and low level coffee tables (a fashion that is very bad for the digestion of ones lunch). It was full of pre-school children and their tired mothers, grabbing a precious tea or coffee with their similarly frazzled Mummy friends. The children were welcome and happy. Gosh if me and my friends had this place 3 or 4 years ago I know we would have used it. However, I am no longer in this demographic and I wasn’t quite at home in either area, in spite of being a female in her thirties. Possibly this was because my earlier hunch proved right – it was far too dark and I felt stressed out. Possibly this was also because wherever I looked there was a sign demanding that I should “Love Koffee”. I don’t. I hate coffee but not as much as the misspelling on these brainwashing signs.

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The Food

There were not many vegetarian sandwiches on the menu. In fact I believe there were two unimaginative ones. Fortunately I was in the mood for a cheese and pickle baguette which turned out to be very pleasant. The pickle to cheese ratio was correct. To improve on this already good sandwich I would encourage the management to source a crumblier richer cheddar or perhaps a creamy Lancashire for variety.

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Mr Midweek Lunch was very happy with his business-critical tikka panini. The combination of chicken tikka and cheddar cheese is not a usual one, but it was fusion-tastic. And really, can’t we all learn something from the way Italian, Indian and English ingredients go together in perfect harmony on his sandwich. There were enough options (for those who are prepared to have a little meat in their sandwich) that he would happily come back to work his way through the options. The milkshakes are pretty good too, and a lot cheaper than most of the options in town. What’s more, it all came with obliging promptness.

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We shared a sticky toffee muffin. There were a lot of muffins in the food display which is very enticing to people who like them. Ours was pretty amazing. The toping was thick and crunchy, almost like Ice Magic if you remember such a thing. Muffins can be overwhelming at times so it would have been nice to also see some smaller baked goods. There were cookies but these were similarly large. I expect the idea is to share them with a friend in the “relax in my kitchen” environment. Most people seemed to be doing this.

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My tea was of a good quality but I have reservations about the way it was served. I prefer to be given nice loose leaf in a pot and the transparency of this plastic pot was a novelty that might appeal to some diners. I really liked the cute little milk bottle and I approved of the cup and saucer. However it was a very heavy cup and saucer. If you are going to choose the cup and saucer option it needs to be thin, preferably bone china. If you are going for thick china or earthen ware, you either need to serve “Koffee” in it or it needs to be in the shape of a mug. The cup was far too heavy even before the tea went in to cope with the aerodynamics of its intended use.

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Would I visit again? I wouldn’t rush but yes at some point in the future for the reasonably priced tasty food. However I would take a torch.

7/10

http://maltingsshoppingcentre.co.uk/store/love-koffee/

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