Archive for the ‘Breakfasts’ Category

Chomping at Chandos

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

It has to be said that the most memorable part of breakfast at Chandos was hearing the story of the one-armed motorcyclist related in full at least three times in increasing volume from the neighbouring table.  As enthralling and illuminating as the anecdote was,  by the third time round it was distinctly underwhelming.

Nevertheless, to the food itself – as a quintessential greasy-spoon fry-up, it was the perfect contrast last month’s glamour and glitz at Simpsons in the Strand.  Mushrooms on toast proved to be a most satisfying heap of fried fungi

Chandos shrooms

The breakfast special was a good value meal, of which the sausage was definitely the standout component – chunky, perfectly browned, and full of flavour.  Toast was provided in generous quantities and the bacon, although nothing to shout about, was not below-par.   The glistening mushrooms slipped down very nicely, and came in pleasing quantity and the egg was entirely adequate.

Overall, breakfast at Chandos was satisfactory with nothing to really let it down.  Its full English offering had little that stood out beside the sausage, but our experience suggests that the alternative options stand up well rather than simply being there to fill out the menu.

Chandos breakfast

April Breakfast

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Breakfasting venueChandos Sandwich Bar

Date of Breakfasting: Wednesday 14th April

Time: As per usual – 7:30am – 8:30am, drop in whenever!

Nearest tube is: Charing Cross / Leicester Square

Location: 60 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HG

Breakfast deluxe

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Breakfast at Simpsons in the Strand (SITS) was certainly an experience.  From start to finish.  Our intrepid new breakfaster confused the lady at the door immensely.  “Are you here for the British Venture Capitalists Association breakfast with Lord Myners?” she asked innocently.  Resisting the no-doubt overpowering urge to just say yes and head upstairs for a free nosh-up amongst the shiny suit brigade, our gallant new-joiner made his way instead to be seated in the Grand Divan.

restaurant

Trying not to look to hard or too long at the prices, the group quickly demonstrated a range of appetites for risk versus reward.  The more cautious opted merely for the full English breakfast, comprising Cumberland sausage, scrambled egg, streaky and back bacon, Stornoway black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked tomato & Egg .  The aspiring venture capitalists among us calculated that the £2 further investment required in order to secure an additional lamb kidney, fried bread, bubble & squeak and baked beans was sufficiently modest to offset the risk of being unable to finish the platter.

An immensely well-dressed waiter materialised soundlessly at the end of the table to take our orders, and with these safely placed, the anticipation now began in earnest.   Now, while it is true that anticipation plays a key role in the ultimate enjoyment of a waited for pleasure, one thing that Simpsons might well consider is that it may actually be possible to have too much of a good thing.  In the case of anticipation for breakfast, anything over 10-15 minutes is definitely too much.  However what is really going over the top is, after that 10-15 minutes,  to bring out a platter of breakfasts, place them down at the waiter’s station in full view of your expectant eaters  … studiously examine the order sheet for two or three minutes, and whisk them all back to the kitchen again without a word.

SDC10505

To give credit where due, our waiting was punctuated by a fairly constant stream of toast (delivered warm and in proper toast racks), pastries (delectable array presented on a silver platter), tea, coffee, and orange juice (served gracefully and unobtrusively by the liveried waiter).  However there comes a point where even the most hearty devourer of morning-time morsels might begin to question whether indulging in such gluten-gluttony before gleefully galloping through the Ten Deadly Sins might not result in very down-to-earth repercussions.

It was also at this point that the individual among us who had opted to sample the Bircher muesli ahead of his ten deadly sins became the object of general envy.  To the unitiated (which included most of us), this is a special kind of muesli where the oats have been soaked in fruit juice overnight before serving.  Having had a taste, I can confirm that it is in fact supremely delicious.

SDC10507

Fortunately I can report that the breakfast proper, when it arrived, was similarly excellent.  A good, meaty sausage cooked just right took centre stage, and the bacon accompanying was tender and tasty.  The eggs were perhaps slightly overdone, being a little crispy at the edges – but had firm whites and splendidly runny yolks – just as should be.  The accompanying tomato and mushrooms were delivered to similarly high standard – and the all important black pudding was moist and well formed, not falling prey to that dryness that can afflict the lesser contenders in this field.

Those opting for the full sin-fest reported good things for the kidneys and fried bread – and the bubble and squeak proved somewhat unique, coming not in the usual slab but a spherical form, looking rather like a scotch egg.  Nevertheless, it was reported to be a fine example of this often overlooked breakfast delicacy.

So, although somewhat slow from order to eating, Simpsons did eventually redeem itself.  The quality of the food is certainly very good – but not really warranting the quite eye-watering prices.  You are paying at least as much for the service and the surroundings as for the edible portion of the experience.  A high-scoring breakfast, but one that won’t be repeated often!

Breakfast March!

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Yep, it’s the biggie … this month’s breakfast is unashamedly swanky. In fact, it’s probably best to dress up at least a little for this one .. but it’ll be worth it! For your set breakfast options, you’ll be choosing from “The Great British Breakfast”, “The Ten Deadly Sins” or the discouragingly named “The Healthy Breakfast”.

But a good range of other options are also on offer, including omlettes, fish, grapefruit, pastries and more. Check out the link below for the full menu.

It’s not quite as cheap as our usual locations, but it will be an experience to remember.  And if you go for the fruit or cereal you can still have something that probably won’t break the bank (N.B. banks that are already broken are excluded from this calculation …) See you there!

simpsons4

Breakfasting venue: Simpsons in the Strand

Date of Breakfasting: Wednesday 10th March

Time: As per usual – 7:30am – 8:30am, drop in whenever!

Nearest tube is: Charing Cross

Location: 100 Strand, London, WC2R 0EW

Spanishy

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Holy Crap! a post (or at least some thoughts) about a breakfast on the same day as it happened, anyhow…

Camino

Camino, it’s a bit of a trek up to King’s Cross to get there and the place itself is slightly hidden away so you’re probably not going to stumble across it on your way somewhere else, which is a shame as I thought it was pretty good.

eggs

Sausage and Eggs – nice and simple, but very tasty and with some salad too (I’m sure that’s a couple of my five-a-day right there). It’s hard not to compare this to last month, which I probably shouldn’t be doing, but look it’s freshly cooked and there’s fried eggs; that’s a win in my book.

churros

Plus as I didn’t go for the large breakfast I was able to have some churros (deep fried dough that you dip in chocolate) on the side along with a second cup of coffee; nice but maybe a bit too sweet for my liking, well at least for breakfast, they’d be great for elevenses though.

In short, I liked it and would go back – ideally when I’ve got a bit more time as what with it’s slightly later opening time and my having to dash off to work, while it wasn’t exactly rushed, it could have been a bit more relaxed (though I did get to stay longer than the five or so minutes that Joel managed what with him having a train from Waterloo to catch – not ideal)

Come to Camino

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

In a quite worrying display of organisation, we have arranged the next breakfast more than a day before it’s due to happen and then also lined up the next two venues as well (lets hope this isn’t a sign of the end times). So without further ado…

February’s breakfast will be held at Camino, up near King’s Cross on the 10th starting from 8am (a little later than usual due to their opening hours, but that’s no bad thing). It’s a Spanish themed place so the food won’t be the standard Full English, but that’s no bad thing either; however if you are worried, they have a menu which should placate your fears


View Larger Map

then March will be held at Simpson’s in the Strand followed by April at Chandos Cafe near Charing Cross

Hotel Breakfasting

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Dean's Brasserie Breakfast

Well, Dean’s Brasserie was alright; it was very much a standard all you can eat buffet type affair so had the usual issues of the food sitting around for however long being kept warm instead of having been cooked fresh, no fried eggs for a similar reason. If you don’t mind that then it was fine, but where I really had an issue was the lack of coffee and toast – basically, despite advertising their breakfasts outside, they don’t seem to be able to cope with the extra custom that it generates and so the service was terrible, so while you could help yourself to food, the tea/coffee/toast was brought separately and so didn’t really arrive.

Brasserie Breakfast

Monday, January 11th, 2010

After rounding off 2009 with yet another sumptuous breakfast courtesy of Alpino, we’re ready to kick off 2010 with renewed vigour. As is now our expectation, the fare at Alpino was outstanding – they do seem, more than any other place we have been, to have thoroughly perfected the art of the fried egg.

Breakfast at Alpino
Best egg
A full breakfast - with perfect egg

Our first venue of the year offers an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet style breakfast. Also, now is probably the time to pre-warn you that in March, once everyone’s finances have had time to recover from Christmas, we are planning to head to Simpsons in the Strand. You may also wish to skip your dinner on the night before this one … just take a look what is included in the “Ten Deadly Sins” breakfast to see why!

But anyway, first things first – here are the details for the January breakfast. Hope to see you there!

Breakfasting venue: Dean’s Brasserie

Date of Breakfasting: Wednesday 13th January

Time: As per usual – 7:30am – 8:30am, drop in whenever!

Nearest tube is: Holborn

Location: 130-134 Southampton Row

Breakfast at Alpino

Monday, December 7th, 2009

On the basis that you can never have too much of a good thing, this month’s breakfast we’ve decided to head back to an old favourite, for what will hopefully be a guaranteed good Christmas nosh-up. We’ve been to Alpino’s twice before, it’s true – but they were great both times, and if we never go back to the really good ones .. well, what’s the point in having Breakfast Wednesdays?

Alpino

Alpino is at the far end of Chapel Market from Angel tube if that’s the way you’re coming from –  you’ll pass a couple of other caffs on the way, but don’t be distracted .. it’s worth the travelling for the journey’s end!

Breakfasting venue: Alpino

Date of Breakfasting: Wednesday 9th December

Time: As per usual – 7:30am – 8:30am, drop in whenever!

Nearest tube is: Angel

Location: 97 Chapel Market, London, N1 5EY

I can resist everything except temptation

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Apologies in advance that this is probably going to be a quick and dirty post, so much like the breakfast really.

Not that it was bad mind, just more towards the cheap and cheerful end of the spectrum, but at £3 for a full english I really can’t complain

breakfast

As you can see, it was a bit bean heavy, but also had a fair amount of bacon, sausage and eggs (that seem to have disappeared in the contrast) and toast, so standard stuff.

Um, yeah, I am kind of struggling to say much about it as it was just so ordinary… so right, next month then, there are vague plans to posh it up a little so check back later to see if we manage to organise that.