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I discovered Algerian Cafe “El Marsem” on the Old Kent Road when we were stopped by the traffic lights in front a window of piles and piles of pancakey bread, or was it bready pancakes, or was it just one huge pancake? either empty, or stuffed with cheeses and other delights.

I did what any normal food blogger would do… leapt out of the car and into the cafe, leaving my husband to park up around the corner and attempt to find his way back road. The charming barista offered to heat the pancake-conundrum swiftly on a hot plate and drizzle it with honey. Who needs cake?

You should have seen it unwrapped in the window


It was as appetising as it looked and we devoured two of them in the slightly battered interior. There was no skimmed milk nor milk alternatives but our cappuccinos were far from shoddy. All of the delights within the window were un-named and we tended to choose them by pointing out, ‘the green one, ‘the white one’ and we came home with a box of melting, pastried marzipan that we couldn’t resist dipping into all day.


I had previously considered the Old Kent Road to be ‘just one of those crowded high streets I had to endure on my way to St Thomas’s Hospital, that seemed to have not developed the ‘cool’ of being the cheapest road on the Monopoly Board. However El Marsem was just one of the intriguing bakeries are nestled in the diesel-lined road. Sooo… what if you’re a foodie but a bit health conscious about the stationary car fumes coming from the road… My advice is go, go now. 

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