I had great expectations for The Diner in Camden – after keenly watching its transformation from the sticky cesspit known as Arizona Bar – however despite making some fairly clear promises, it fails to deliver.
Everything about the place cues your brain into thinking “American style” (although just as we walked in it seemed less 50’s diner and more Ralph Bakshi?!), and yet unlike other businesses which operate the same facade (Ed’s Easy Diner, Automatic, Johnny Rockets) it feels annoyingly English. Not that there’s anything wrong with English (far from it!), but why buy into a look you can’t carry through?
I opted for the winningly greasy post-Friday-night combination of an omelette with ham & peppers, chocolate milkshake, and cheese fries to share with my learned colleague who was in a similar state to me. The omelette was insipid & perfunctory at best, the fries were incredibly greasy even without the contribution from the cheese, and the milkshake was similarly passable – nothing was *bad* as such, but nothing about the place made you want to go back there. Another way of saying it would be that the breakfasts weren’t big enough to make you feel like you’d gotten value for money, but weren’t tasty enough that you’d wished you’d been given more. Every forkful of the forgettable fare offered here made the pair of us wish we’d opted for going around the corner to Bar Solo instead.
About the only thing we felt this place really had working in its favour was offering a place to sit down and chill out for a moment amid the lunacy of a Saturday in the heart of Camden.