MARC BURROWS, DECEMBER 2017
Whoever first came up with the concept of the bottomless Brunch needs some sort of knighthood. Maybe even a Sainthood. At the very least, they deserve a raise. The concept of a eating and drinking as much as you like is the finest way imaginable to start a day in the big city, and there’s plenty of delicious options available.
Bad Egg This £35 weekend brunch is often booked up weeks ahead, and with good reason- as hangover-busters go, Bad Egg is hard to beat. Bloody Maries, prosecco or Mimosas accompany an inventive and divinely junky menu featuring the likes of “Cheeseburger hash”, which deconstructs a cheeseburger and fry’s it up with potatoes and egg, or the “Macanchini” – deep fried mac and cheese balls. Adventurous types could try the french toast with fried chicken, banana and syrup. It works better than you’d think. Virgin options are available too, and cutting out the booze will save you a tenner.
FlorentineStretching the definition of “brunch” almost to breaking point, this little south-of-the-river gem does a terrific menu from 11am to 5pm every Saturday. Thanks to an arrangement with the nearby Beefeater gin distillery there’s some excellent drinks options, and the whole deal is accompanied by a DJ spinning tastefully cool tunes. “Honest food” is the motto at Florentine, and the menu keeps things simple, putting the emphasis on the quality of the ingredients over fancy techniques. It pays off- the sausages in the full English breakfast are a flavoursome treat, and there’s a delicious elegance to the way they handle go-to’s like avocado on toast or poached eggs. If you’re there in the spring or summer the Ostrich-egg full english sharer is a showstopper.
FoxlowTaking inspiration from America (where Brunch is something of a national obsession), this gem sets spicy house Bloody Marys alongside chicken and waffles, jalapeno cornbread and proper hash browns. There’s also an excellent vegetarian breakfast that avoids the irritating tendency many places have to fry mashed potatoes into a tube and call it a sausage.
HotboxSo. Much. Meat. If you’re a fan of a Texan style barbecue, Hotbox is an absolute essential. You won’t find much traditional breakfast fare here, and you’ll be laughed out of town if you even think the word “granola”, but the pork-belly benedict with spiced hollandaise sauce is a work of satisfyingly greasy genius and the spicy Rancheros eggs are delicious. Also adding pecans to french toast is somewhere close to a nobel-prize-worthy move. The drinks menu is similarly unsubtle, with five different Bloody Marys of varying spiciness. The jalapeno one is to be approached with caution..
BokanA slightly more purist approach to the concept of ‘brunch’, Bōkan have a narrower window than many- you need to eat between midday and 2.30pm, so this isn’t one for the super lazy lie-in fans. The main selling point here is the 360 views- a terrace 36 floors up is a hell of a setting for any meal. The menu is delicious, but not especially breaskfasty- the egg-royal with hot smoked salmon is as close as you’re going to get. But that’s okay- the seabream and smoked salmon tartar served with yuzu, coconut milk and fresh mango is absolutely stunning, and the desserts are incredible. It’s a pricey option at £49 but the views and the food are both stellar.