I used to think the only way to travel back in time was a DeLorean, a hot tub or, as the recent Avengers finale proved, a trip to the Quantum Realm. Turns out I was wrong, all that’s required is an Oyster card and in my case, twenty minutes on the Jubilee
It was on a recent Saturday that I stepped back in time in North London to try the bottomless brunch at Bobby Fitzpatrick, an eccentric throwback of a pizza place cum cocktail bar.
Down West Hampstead’s West End Lane, Bobby Fitzpatrick’s quirky mid-century influenced aesthetic is evident in th
e wicker seats outside and the glow of a gaudy neon sign blinking COCKTAILS to passers-by. Once inside you’re greeted by a wall of camp celeb headshots (say hi to Barry Manilow and The Three Degrees) and a light nautical
theme that looks like it was curated by the set designer behind Love Boat, with tiki flourishes all around to balance out the wood panelling.
When Bobby’s isn’t hosting its bottomless brunch, it plays host to a mostly pizza filled menu and impressive cocktail list. Everything about this place feels as though it’s been pulled together to create an endlessly Instagrammable setting for cheat day treats and #FridayFeeling posts, but really what sets it apart is the value of the brunch menu and the creative ways in which said menu reflects the smartly bedecked interiors.
Towards the back of the upstairs where we were seated, the dÃƒÂ©cor was a little scaled back becoming an approximation of a sixties kitchen complete with a faux-fridge back door for staff. It was here that we enjoyed Bobby’s famous seven-course bottomless brunch, an offering that perfectly matched the bar’s kooky interior in that it was interesting, for the most part well considered and charmingly vintage.
First things first, value wise the brunch is especially impressive, with a seven-course feast and a choice of three typically off-piste cocktails (mixed strong enough to get you more than a little piste) for only £35 a head. This isn’t however a brunch for the smashed avo on everything crowd, instead the menu consists of some truly weird and wonderful creations, some of which are more successful than others, but overall it’s a satisfying and interesting menu.
The menu is stacked with mixture of American-influenced canapÃƒÂ© fare, with the Devilled Egg a particular highlight, and eccentric specialities such as the Fried Chicken Potato Latkes and Kedgeree Scotch Egg proving to be two genuine triumphs.
In some places, the menu feels somewhat disjointed (having a rolled omelette then a crepe rather made one feel like the chef had a few too many eggs that needed getting rid of) and the meatballs felt like a bit of an afterthought, but one can’t fault the quality of each dish and the quality of the service.
Each new plate was brought out in very good time meaning no one could be left hungry for long, and the variety of flavours and textures kept it interesting and fresh.
The cocktails were strong but not overpowering, and managed to provide excellent palate cleansers for each new dish. I gorged myself on the Hemingway Daiquiri (Havana Club 3yr, maraschino, lime and fresh grapefruit juice) and my guest took on the Bloody Derek, Bobby’s fearsome spin on the Bloody Mary.
To finish up we enjoyed a fresh and citrusy Berry Pavlova with Lemon Whipped Cream and marvelled at what we’d conquered. After seven courses and more than a few cocktails, it was all we could do to not give in and unbutton our trousers.
Make no mistake, even though the plates are small the portions are well sized and extremely filling, delicious and interesting and much like the bar itself, a delightful mix of old fashioned fun and new school brunch bravado.
Come for the wacky menu, stay for the well-priced, well-furnished and well-considered everything else.