30 Uxbridge Street, London, W8 7TA www.eggbreak.com
I heard an interesting piece of news on the radio the other day. Apparently, dangerously underweight teenagers are being admitted to hospital after following the Instagram-hosted nutritional guidelines from some of the lissom #cleaneating zealots who occupy the inside pages of most national newspapers at the moment.
Alexia Dempsey, who is an eating disorder specialist at The Priory, said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“it is astonishing how many of our patients have Instagram accounts and follow their dietary gurus on social media, believing that what is written is gospel.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Mind you, nutritional science seems to be an inexact practice at best: 20 years ago, the experts would have had you avoiding eggs, butter and other sources of fat and cholesterol, substituting margarine and other manufactured low-fat products in their place. Now, something close to the reverse seems to be the case.
British egg producers must be one of the chief beneficiaries of this change of nutritional heart, and I scoff a couple of eggs for brekkie two or three times a week these days Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the 90 second masala omelette makes a cracking start to the day (boom boom). Consequently, when an invite came through to try brunch at Eggbreak, a relatively new addition to Notting Hill’s all-day-dining scene, I overcame my reluctance to dine out before midday and went along to give its eggs a shot.
On the ground floor the cafÃƒÂ© is light and airy, while downstairs, where we were sitting, it is less light and airy. But has the advantage of being more spacious, with less chance of your cashmere shawl ending up in a neighbour’s smashed avo on toast.
The brunch menu features a variety of the Instagram-friendly stalwarts that crop up most places. With variations of the aforementioned smashed avo and poached eggs, waffles, egg pots with chia seeds, almond milk, pomegranate etc., French toast, and blinged-up versions of the classic sausage and bacon butties.
On our visit, there seemed to be a disconnect between the kitchen and the waiting staff, who though pleasant, were not the model of efficiency. Consequently, our plates of corn cakes with poached eggs and sriracha hollandaise, and French toast with bananas and blueberry, arrived before the asked-for pot of tea, cup of coffee and green smoothie.
I guess this doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but brunch is supposed to be a leisurely activity for the leisured classes. I’d have liked to be able to sip leisurely on my (£6 bought-in) green smoothie and breakfast tea before I tucked into my plate of eggs; however, one taste of my egg, hollandaise, and corn cake combo improved my mood.
The sriracha gave the velvety hollandaise a kick up the backside, and with a side-order of chorizo, the whole shebang made for a tasty mouthful Ã¢â‚¬â€œ perhaps even worth getting out of bed for! The crunchy French toast, a dish that has appeared in more Instagram snaps than I’ve had hot brunches, did exactly what it said on the tin, but was far too sweet for my savoury tastes.
That wasn’t a problem for my date, however, who is a regular bruncher and pronounced it’delicious’ (although a mean side-order of two lukewarm bacon rashers did not receive the same judgement).
Issuing forth into the bank holiday Monday gloom, I reflected that my mood on leaving Eggbreak was improved on entering it, and therefore, I guess you can call it a success. If you are follower of the current foodie zeitgeist, there won’t be much to surprise you on the menu. But the ingredients are from quality suppliers (Turner and George for meat and Cornish day boats for the fish) and the quality of the cooking, as far as we could tell from a couple of dishes, is excellent.
All in, the bill came to £20 a head plus service, which isn’t cheap, but nor is it too expensive for a smart part of town. And if you do want cheap, you should probably stay on the Central Line at Notting Hill Gate and get off somewhere around Hangar Lane, where the tea might come before the fry-up, but the eggs won’t be pasture-raised!
Dinner Reservations Only