9th Jan 2011
This is a great restaurant for lunch or pre-theatre meals. It's not really posh enough for dressing up and dinner though. It's more of an up-market student venue. Indeed, it does tend to attract a young, studenty, arty crowd.
Cafe Hula is very down-to-earth ie some of the cushions are a bit ripped and the toilets have a make-shift feel about them. It's the kind of place you can enter, wearing your big hiking boots, chuck your big padded coat onto a nearby bench and sink into one of the leather couches with a hot chocolate in hand. And no-one gives you a row for the mess you're making of the floor or for throwing your stuff around.
The falling apart furniture and peeling paintwork is no bad thing though. It just leads to the no-nonsense, studenty ambiance of the place. You feel comfortable right away. It has two huge windows which lets in lots of nice bright, sunny daylight and if you sit on the benches in the front of the restaurant, it's a brilliant place for people watching.
The service isn't great. It can be a bit slow at times and there's been occasions where we've had to approach the till to pay. But the food more than makes up for that. The Spanish stew with chickpeas and chorizo is a dream and something we never tire of while the pasta with goats cheese is to die for (and if you eat enough of it you probably will - of a heart attack). Actually, just joking there. This restaurant actually sells healthy fayre. There's plenty of nice salad dishes with tomatoes and olives while spinach and onions are added to dishes. We never feel like a slob when we eat here - unless we have the triple chocolate brownie dessert. Yummmm