I am not sure I really like Spitalfields any more. Sure thre are still some gems in the area, but in all the regeneration, they seem to have swapped is shabby charm for what looks like one of those computer-generated vistas of a shiny modern development.
But hey, I was in the area, I was short of time, and I was hungry.
Alas, my visions of yummy delicacies from the overpriced posh food stalls were punctured by the stalls being shut - on a Saturday. I didn't have time for a proper meal so settled for a cafe on the still slightly shaby opposite side of the street.
The board outside laid claim to "the best toasted sandwiches" - so I put it to the test with a cheese and onion number (3.20).
It failed. The bread had been toasted for too long for my liking, but the main problem was the filling to dough ratio, with many mouthfuls detecting little or not cheese.
Kruger do a far superior version which costs 70 pence less, yet features no fewer than three cheeses, as well as wild mushrooms and tomatoes on top of the onions offered here.
I also tried their special ice Darjeeling tea (2.00). It looked beautiful in the (rather small) glass, served with a wedge of orange and a sprig of mint. The first few sips were horribly sweet, masking any other flavours, though the drink improved with the melting of the ice cubes.
All in all it was a pretty disappointing experience and I doubt I'll be back for the food. But the coffees are reasonably priced and it's not a bad place for alcohol free people watching on a sunny day (though be prepared to be accosted by the odd passing beggar).
Market Coffee House, 52 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AG; Tube: Liverpool Street