Brixton market is always a somewhat surreal experience, by virtue of how un-London the whole place is – more similar to a marketplace in Marrakech than our urban jungle. It’s also one of the few places where virtually all restaurants (bar one) are cash only. As I found out tho, it’s also the home of one of London’s must visit breakfast places.
Deciding a good place to brunch is never as easy as TV series would depict, where characters seemingly wake up with divine providence of where to go. Instead, there’s more of a barrage of queries such as “will we even get a table there”, “how far is it”, and, my favorite, “will it have a nice enough bathroom if the detox juice gives me the looseys (I wanted to find a cuter word for diarrhea)?”. Alright, you got me, that last one is actually my sisters favorite question but I like to be inspired.
Getting back to the topic, it’s harder to find a brunch place when one of the questions is “will they let me take pictures of topless men in their restaurant?”
Frizzante is the place where I imagine Maria from The Sound of Music, after having moved to the City of London to become an investment banker, would go to have a cheeky breakfast, reminiscing the times when she was prancing and singing in the meadows, somewhere in an unspecified Austrian mountain. It’s the kind of place she would have gone back in the good old days.
Fluffy pancakes doused with maple syrup, scrumptious eggs on toasts, a delicious floral Earl Grey to go with them all – this is what breakfast dreams are made of. The reality is that most breakfast menus will contain the classical dishes and little more, like muffins or eggs Benedict (not that this is necessarily a bad thing). So whenever a restaurant offers something like “Truffle-infused hollandaise and asparagus” for my Benedicts, it’s an instant choice for what I will order.
The diner, ladies and gentlemen, is an American contraption that for me has always been synonymous with feeding people – not impressing them, not changing their lives, merely feeding them. It was (in my mind) created to offer a respite from stay at home moms, to be a refuge for single men who can only make burnt toast, or, in some occasions, to act as a place where one can meet other people. Why they would ever want that, I am baffled.
I had seen the words “Peruvian” and “brunch” mixed into what ended up being a delicious time over at Lima Floral, so was rather excited to see even more such opportunities closer by in Shoreditch. With glowing reviews everywhere, it was a bit of a downer to end up feeling rather lukewarm about the whole meal.
For anyone that knows me, I am not the biggest fan of the US – from its mass shooting to the wonder that is Donald Trump, the land of the free has much to answer to. It’s not all bad tho – despite all its short-givings, it has also given me Netflix and has played an important role in the expansion of the most glorious cuisine of them all: breakfast food. So it was only appropriate that I try the Dirty Bones brunch menu.
The word “Canteen” has never brought to my mind a place that would be either pleasant or visited unless forced to – Eastern Europe has truly ruined much of this universe for me. Even the connotations in English aren’t that good – it was then interesting to see how a chain would hope to turn that around.
Sophistication is the death of humble life. This is perhaps clearest within the food industry, where modern cuisine pushes the boundaries through its sheer complexity. From the appearance of “fusion” to “molecular gastronomy”, it’s often that restaurants try to be ever more original and different. A break from all that is needed, and the Regency Cafe comes in.