Anyone at all who has been in a café or restaurant in the last couple of years will know that the trend has been for venues to eschew traditional soft furnishings such as carpets and curtains, instead streamlining interiors with hard surfaces and firm seating.
The upshot of this has had benefits and drawbacks. One distinct disadvantage is the propensity for sound to bounce around these spaces like a bluebottle zigzagging under a pendant light. As we know only too well, this leads to an increase in decibels as patrons are compelled to raise their voices to make themselves heard above both other diners plus the scraping of wooden legs on stone flooring. We’re talking about chairs in this instance – although, this being the Isle of Wight, we have to assume that even the local pirates may like to eat out occasionally. Either way, it all adds to the resulting aural hullabaloo.
However, the good thing about industrial chic, is that these hard surfaces are easier to clean than sound-absorbing fabrics and raffia-clad chianti bottles (yes, La Scala, we are pointing at you). Here Ryde’s So… Yummy comes into its own. Its stylish chamfered tiling and Scandi-chic chairs make it not only trendy, but also easier to keep necessarily hygienic. Additionally the venue has reverted to old-school booth-style seating. Although, in this instance, the screens between tables are rather comfortingly constructed from plastic sheeting. It almost gives the feeling of being in a hospital and, ironically, it might actually prevent us from going to one.
This is all by-the-by. The point being it was nice and we could hear ourselves speak. The topic under discussion was whether Cat should have smashed avocado on sourdough, or one of the imaginatively-loaded bruschettas.
As are the COVID-19 safety rules (this week at least), we had table service. Matt, entirely true to form, ordered the hearty breakfast. Cat chose croque or ‘French rarebit’, as it is a rare thing to find on a menu. The madame version of this dish is so called because it is accessorised with eggs, which supposedly resemble a woman’s hat. Keen titfer-wearer Cat has many berets, fedoras and even a bowler with integrated cat ears, but none of her headgear resembles the perfectly soft-poached egg she gleefully punctured at So… Yummy.
Croque madame £6.50
Big hearty breakfast £10.00
The croque madame came with not one but two eggs. The golden yolks oozed delightfully over the tangy cheese rarebit and went some small way to softening the crunchy sourdough toast under the layer of lean ham. The salad garnish was a sweet twiddle of pea shoots and jewel-like baby plum tomatoes, all generously drizzled with a concentrated balsamic glaze. An excellent brunch.
Matt’s ‘hearty’ breakfast was great. Two big, herby sausages set high standards, and a pile of sauté potatoes set this apart from the full English elsewhere. Three thick slices of smoky bacon and two grilled tomato halves were both done to a turn, and the whole thing was topped off with good, liquid-yolked fried eggs. Included in the price – commendably – was toast and a choice of hot drinks. Matt had a pot of good strong tea which stretched to three cups without a refill. This was proper café food, done well.
Our coffee and tea both came with biscuits; pleasingly different ones curated for each cuppa. A Lotus biscoff for Cat, and Matt was given a finger.
The café was quiet; reassuring from a COVID-19 safety point of view, but a place as charming as this deserves to be busier. With chatty and considerate service, a superior fry-up and good contemporary breakfast alternatives for artsy-fartsies like Cat, we are happy to recommend So… Yummy. So go there.
This is the full-length version of the review first published in the Isle of Wight County Press.
- Plenty of tea in the pot
- Quality sausages
- Nice interior
- That ellipsis