The lure of the devilled kidneys indeed proved too much temptation for some to resist, and the March breakfast was well attended. 1 Lombard is one of those places that seems to have somehow assume the mantle of the gentleman’s club, maintaining an air of exclusivity but without actually going as far as to actually maintain a members list. Nevertheless a quick inspection of our fellow patrons confirms that our booking has more or less doubled the number of women in the room.
We were seated without any, despite having an extra over the number that we had booked for. Leaving the pleasure of the spicy offal to others, I took it upon myself once more to tackle the challenge of the Full English. Generally this is a prospect I face with some relish (no pun intended), however this morning even I am a little nervous about the scale of the task that I am about to take on. You see, one of the things that has drawn us here to 1 Lombard is the intriguing note on the menu which informs the reader that the Full English breakfast, in addition to the usual fry-up essentials, “includes all the items from the Continental breakfast”. Well this had to be tested out. Nevertheless, I was beginning to wonder whether satisfying my curiousity was going to prove deadly to my gut.
Fortunately, the servings are well proportioned and as I tuck into a creamy yogurt and nibble a couple of pastries and sup on an excellent coffee, I reflect that there are many worse ways to await the arrival of a plate of cooked morning sustenance.
That isn’t to say that you can’t go wrong here though. Despite assurances to the contrary, it does not seem to me that every one of our coterie was as pleased with what was put in front of them as I was. On the other hand those who choose to order porridge and a bowl of fruit when such a range of exquisite delicacies is on offer cannot hope for much sympathy from the Brekmeister.
By contrast, however, those who did opt for the devilled kidneys were pleasantly surprised to find that these came not just with the usual plain toast accompaniment, but with full contingent of tomato, bacon and scrambled egg to boot.
The full English itself was a delight both to behold and to consume. You need but a glance at this plate to know in an instant that you are in the hands of a master of the art. From the perfectly cooked eggs (yes, two as a matter of course) with their hearts of liquid gold glowing from the centre of whites done not a moment too long, nor even a smidgen too short, to the ruffled rashers of healthy coloured bacon everything in front of you screams quality and oozes with attention. A wonderfully grilled tomato perches atop a fantastically succulent mushroom, and the black pudding is a testament to the proper use of oats at breakfast table – of which the porridge brigade should take due note. If you’re wondering whether it’s as good as it looks, the answer is that it is if possible better. Additional points are garnered by the imposition of an extra fee for those barbarians who wish to sully their good breakfast with the travesty of baked beans. I heartily approve of this tax on poor taste, and recommend it be extended far and wide.
Best of all, and contrary to my initial fears, I left the table feeling pleasantly well fed but not in the least bit overstuffed. 1 Lombard certainly makes to my personal list of London’s best breakfasts on this showing, and I certainly look forward to a return visit to sample some of the other fare.