Indigo Coffee House is a charming café tucked away just off King's ParadeInes Letellier

Indigo Coffee House is a charming café tucked away just off King’s Parade. Its interior is decorated with comfy chairs, and the collections of foreign money on the walls that seems obligatory these days. The ground floor room is small and intimate, whilst there is a larger upstairs area – when particularly busy the café can get a bit on the uncomfortably hot side. The atmosphere is certainly more a quick meet up with a friend than a big lunch out.

The first sandwich I tried was the Pesto, Mayo, Chicken Ciabatta. All the constituent parts of the sandwich were pretty good, the pesto had a solid rich flavour, and the tomatoes included in were sweet and fresh; and held up to the robust pesto flavours. The chicken was largely bland – but in a positive way, where it provided a canvas for the other ingredients. The Ciabatta bread itself was the star of the sandwich, incredibly crunchy – almost shattering on the bite. Whilst all of this should add up to a good sandwich, it just didn’t work in combination. The flavours of mayo and pesto dominated everything else – it was a weird combination that I don’t think worked together. Pesto in itself is a strong enough condiment, that there is really no need to add mayo to the sandwich, which just gets in the way of the flavours and produces a muddle. I feel like the constituent ingredients, in a different sandwich would be pretty nice (maybe something like a pesto, tomato, and mozzarella), but in the inclination it just added up to a confused mess.

“A good meal you should think about weeks after you eat it”

The second, and more successful sandwich I tried was the Ham and Cheese Toastie. Served on white bread, it was very much the quintessentially classic ham and cheese. The star was the mature cheddar, which had a really strong flavour. It also melted very well, positively oozing out of the sandwich. Alongside this the ham acted as more of an afternote of pork and salinity. This worked to cut the richness of the cheese, which on its own would probably have been overwhelming and one note. Another big positive was the bread, a paragon of simplicity – the white bread had been nicely pressed and cooked in butter, in such a way that it provided a crunchy counterpoint to the gooey, cheesy interior. The Ham and Cheese was by far the best thing I had.

Smoked salmon and lemon saladCallum Wainstein

Finally I was recommended to try one of the salads, I went for the smoked salmon and lemon. The dressing was incredibly acidic, with a very strong lemon flavour (aided by having some cut lemons to squeeze on for added acidity). I was also happy to see that the dressing had been very well distributed throughout the salad, though I do feel there was a touch of conservatism in having the salad’s base components be only lettuce, cucumber, and tomato – some raw red onion would have gone a long way in elevating the dish and providing an additional flavour and textural component. Saying this, I did enjoy the cucumber, it’s cool flavour was a good balance to the, at times, overwhelming acidity of the dressing and lemon. Another counterpoint to the acidity was the smoked salmon, which I have mixed feelings on. In small amounts, alongside the salad it provided a nice, smoky, fishy aftertaste, soothing the pallet. However, in too large portions it was too much, truly great smoked salmon should have a lightness and freshness which was lacking in this incarnation – the result being that eaten on its own it was overwhelmingly fishy.


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Also served with the salad were two pieces of untoasted ciabatta bread, which I have to admit I can see absolutely no point in, untoasted it provided no meaningful textural contrast, nor a contrast between hot and cold. Additionally it was, on its own, largely tasteless – I strongly feel that something like a freshly toasted brown sourdough would have done a lot more to improve the dish. Overall the salad wasn’t terrible – I happily ate it – but it also was really nothing special. A good meal you should think about weeks after you eat it, this salad will be forgotten by the end of the day.

Indigo Coffee House is not a bad place to eat, I should make that clear, but it is also not a particularly exciting one. The food you get will be relatively nice and serviceable, but I have to admit that if I had one take away after the meal, it was probably that I wish I had eaten at the Locker, which offers basically the same sort of food, but much better and more interestingly constructed. The one thing really going for Indigo is that it’s pretty cheap, all the food I had worked out at around 13 quid [two sandwiches and a salad], and whilst I wouldn’t recommend going there over somewhere like the Locker, its definitely a better shout than patronaging the Café Nero nearby – which is effectively the same price and a lot worse.

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