Unless you’ve been living in a dark cupboard for the last six months, you’ll be well aware that back in December last year, Irish twins Gary and Alan Keery opened Cereal Killer Café – London’s first such establishment dedicated to sugary breakfast treats – on Brick Lane. There was outrage from the haters – ‘£3 for a bowl of cereal?!’ – and delight from those with an appetite for novelty cereal and ’80s/’90s nostalgia. And now the brothers Keery are sticking it to the cereal haters and setting up their second branch in Camden. We went down last night to check it out.
Standing outside, you could be fooled into thinking that it was just a small shop front, albeit a pretty cool one covered in old VHS tapes. But once inside we found that it was actually massive – 1,000 square feet, to be exact, which is double the size of the first branch. And it’s not just your bog-standard tables and chairs in there – there’s also a whole row of beds. Yep, beds. With duvet covers last seen circa 1992.
We took a pew on a Super Mario duvet and got ready to chow down on a bowl of chocolate Lucky Charms with a topping of freeze-dried marshmallows and smashed up Party Rings – well you’ve got to go hard, haven’t you?
But other than a north London postcode, is it any different to the Brick Lane original? Well, yes and no. It’s the same set up – you can choose from 120 different types of cereals, 30 types of milk and 20 different toppings to fill your bowl with, but the Keery brothers describe the new opening as an ‘extension’ of the Brick Lane branch. Basically, it’s bigger and better.
Making the most of the extra space, the Keerys say the second branch was a chance to do everything they couldn’t do in the first one. So as well as more seating and the aforementioned beds, it’s got an old-school arcade cabinet – ‘Wrestlemania’, if you’re wondering – and a whole wall of colourful milk crates with mini TV screens showing ’90s favourites: ‘Johnny Bravo’, ‘Saved By the Bell’ and ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ among them. Oh and the walls are covered in more Coco the Monkey and Tony the Tiger merch than we previously thought were still in existence.
Once we’d slurped our way through a bowl of milky e-numbers and played a couple of rounds of ‘Wrestlemania’, we took the opportunity to grill the twins about their next venture: the Cereal Killer Café cookbook. Is it seriously a whole book about how to master the fine art of adding milk to cereal? Apparently not. The Irish twins say it’s a ‘celebration’ of all things cereal with loads of recipes that use cereal, including veggie burgers using Weetabix (no, we’re not entirely convinced either).
We can’t speak for the cookbook, but the Brick Lane café is currently serving between 200-500 cereal-hungry customers a day, and the second venue is likely to do just as well. Plus the Camden Stables market location means it’s poised to draw in hordes of tourists as well as regular cereal enthusiasts. It’s definitely got the novelty factor going for it, but probably not a place to get your cornflakes every morning. We left feeling nostalgic and pretty darn high on e-numbers, but then we may have slightly overdone it on the Party Rings.
By Izzy Aron
The new Cereal Killer Café opens in Camden today, May 14.
Want more of London’s novelty cafés? Check out: