By: Suzana Rabello de Souza
We visited Cafe Tramp Restaurant to talk more with Mr Haldun, and to learn the story of this lovely place.
You came from Cyprus, right? Why did you decide to come to the UK?
I was 21 years old when I first came to the UK. Everybody dreams of clubbing in London; I like clubbing. I came on a coach because back then flights were too expensive. The funny thing is that I, along with some friends, got off the couch directly opposite to where Tramp is now, where the McDonald’s car park is. From there, we walked to Newington Green to ask where the Turkish area was. But even funnier than that, is that a week later, I came to this place, our Tramp building, and rented the second floor flat for £11 a week… and thirty years later, I came to this same place, only now it’s mine.
And the idea of opening a restaurant, where did it come from?
My family likes food and so do I. Everybody’s mum is a good chef, but my mum is a really good chef. We were always housing guests, always discussing what to eat the Cafe Tramp Restaurant is one of the most charming restaurants in Haringey, so FabUK Magazine chose it for our current fall edition cover. Mr Haldun, its founder, designed most of the inside himself. Being a professional carpenter, he knew exactly what to do and how he wanted it done. He has been collecting tiles and wood for over thirty years, room to room, garage to garage! And those are not the only items he collected; as you enter Tramp, you will see that every corner is special.
What about the name, why “Tramp?”
When we lived here thirty years ago, we couldn’t pay the rent, so the landlord kicked us out. We got this van for around £300, and used it to sleep in; we’d park in a different place every night, just like tramps.
How long have you been working in the food business and when did you start?
About one year; we started last year on the 20th of October.
How many days are you open?
We are open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday.
What is the food speciality?
We started with French food, but we are changing to embrace other European cuisines. We have an excellent Italian chef, Chef Marcelo.
What would you say is Tramp’s best dish?
All of them are nice, but I’d say our fish recipes are the best; our seafood dishes are very popular.
Do you often have live performances at the restaurant?
Since we opened, we’ve done Sunday Jazz, but we are starting to push it more; to have it more often. next day, and here in London, I’ve been to almost all of the restaurants. I love restaurant culture and London is the place for it.
Tramp is a very stylish place. Where do all these things come from?
I bought this place almost ten years ago, and it’s been closed now for about eight years. I said,“C’mon, let’s do a restaurant.” I started to make it into a coffee shop, but then decided on a restaurant. It took me around three years, because I could only work here on weekends and some free days. But the concept came easily, and in three days, and it was done. I collected things throughout the years. I was very lucky, because there is this building on Edgwear Road, called Kings Arm Hotel-an amazing Victorian building from 1885; around fifty-percent of the material used in the restaurant came from there, especially wood. There were many other buildings also, around Finsbury Park, that I collected things from
Cafe Tramp Restaurant is located directly opposite Haringey’s Arena Shopping Park, and if you haven’t visited it yet, put it on your list and do so!