Review: CJ’s Cafe, Acton, London

I’ve walked past CJ’s Cafe almost everyday for the last 3 years and I’ve never noticed it. Bizarre, I know. I like to tell myself, however, that maybe it hasn’t been there for 3 years. I shall find out the next time I visit. I’m definitely going back. Not just because the food was great, the service friendly, and the whole ambience chilled out, but because it’s 2 minutes from home.

CJ’s Cafe window proudly proclaims ‘ English breakfast, Thai, Malaysian’. This is why I’ve overlooked it I think; it confused me. But the other night, after a long day house hunting, we realised just as we were nearing home that there were no leftovers in the fridge, nothing to cook with either, and we just didn’t feel like one of our regular takeaways. But there were two tables on the pavement, right outside CJ’s Cafe, and only one was taken, and every table inside had smiling customers at it! Easy choice. We parked up, I almost dislodged a cyclist in my excitement to get out of the car (his fault, wasn’t supposed to be riding on the pavement!), and we scurried in to ask if we could take the table outside.

Rijstaffel special at CJ's cafe ActonWe couldn’t decide what we wanted to eat – one of those days – and after studying the menu for a good 15 minutes, decided to go all out and have the Rijstaffel Special – the Rijstaffel Extra Special, to be precise. One each, to be more precise. Main course served with steamed rice, prawn crackers, spring rolls, chicken satay, fish cake, sesame prawn toast, and salad. The only decision that had to be made was what the main course would be. Bliss. I opted for a chicken Gaeng Massaman curry, and my husband decided to have a chicken Pad Prik Khing. Am I glad Thai restaurants have a numbered menu 🙂

We decided to move indoors because it was getting a bit chilly, and settled down in a cozy corner. That’s when I noticed the English breakfast menu with at least 10 different versions of the standard, and a CJ’s special that involved a burger and chips. Ok then. Love this place already.

Our meal was brought to us by our chatty waitress. It looked fantastic, couldn’t wait to dig in. But photos first.

Gaeng massaman curry at CJ's cafe ActonI loved everything on my plate, and on my husband’s plate too. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the fish cake. It was more a thin slice of fish, batter fried.

CJ’s Cafe isn’t licensed to sell alcohol, but they’re happy for you to bring your own. Next time! We spent around £13 each for a very satisfying meal in a warm and friendly cafe right next door, and were well pleased.

C J's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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