The Cereal Killer Café has had a tough time, remember the gentrification controversy when they opened in 2015? Since then the Brick Lane eatery has tried to win people over with their ‘zany’ marketing and £5-a-pop bowls of cereal, and their latest charm offensive (no pun) is no different: ‘Unicorn Poop or Salty Balls in your mouth, anyone?’. It’s hard to understand why an angry mob marched on the hipster hangout. They mustn’t have got the joke.
And I’m not sure I do either. I don’t understand the appeal of the Cereal Killer Café, the jokey pun name grates, while the retro interior and themes work so hard that they fail to be either cool or ironic; the joke just seems to fall continually flat. Their latest ranges follow suit.
Unicorn Poop consists of rainbow-coloured rings and flakes in fruity flavours, covered in glitter and served with freeze-dried marshmallows. It actually doesn’t sound that bad, you know, considering. But why ‘Unicorn Poop’? Even if you agree it’s an arguably amusing concept, surely unicorns are so hackneyed it feels like they’ve arrived at the punchline 3 years too late. And can we all appreciate how ghastly the word ‘poop’ is? Poo – that’s funny, but ‘poop’ is a word that nobody outside America uses and is as painfully infantile as anyone who orders this dish on the strength of the name.
Not as painful, though, as Salty Balls. Presumably a carefully legalled reference the 1998 number one hit Chocolate Salty Balls by South Park’s Chef, which was borderline funny at best at the time, after being heavily promoted by Chris Moyles (enough said). The song sees a pre-Yewtree era adult chef asking children to “Just stick my balls in your mouth”. As per the song, the chocolate and caramel cereal comes with salted pretzel balls and chewy caramel bites.
I can only imagine how they chuckled to themselves after coming up with those throwback zingers, then presumably locked up the shop and left the intern to name the remaining two lines, which are sensibly called Spaceman and Lovesick. Spaceman includes chocolate and honey moon shaped (ie round) and star shaped cereal accompanied by smores moons and fudge asteroids, while Lovesick is strawberry flavoured rice crispies with freeze dried strawberry and meringue drops.
Lovesick does actually sound rather good, a collaboration cereal with clothing brand Love Sick London, and the box is best viewed with the free 3D glasses included inside.
Of course, maybe the joke’s on me, perhaps the Cereal Killers Cafe operates on an intellectual plane above mine, maybe the irony is too cutting edge or I’m just too dull to raise a chuckle. But I’m going to stick to my Weetabix for now, thank you very much.
The new lines are available at Cereal Killers’ Brick Lane and Camden Market cafes or via Deliveroo