Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I actually haven’t owned anything green in my closet for years. I remember one year in elementary school when a friend and I put streaks of green washable marker on our hands. My friends and I figured that it would be nice to do something together today – seeing as it is a holiday, and one of my friends found out about a pop-up version of a restaurant called The Breakfast Club, which would solely be serving brunch fare all day. We figured that it would be nice to go because brunch really is the best meal of the day: breakfast food with a little bit of lunch thrown in the mix to make it a more fulling meal. I’ve been to one of The Breakfast Club’s locations before, one in which there was a speakeasy in the basement, and its pancakes are pretty good. But how would its other brunch offerings fare?
We had originally planned to go see the parades in Trafalgar Square before eating, but papers due in the next coming days prevented us from going out early. In the end, we opted just to go for a later brunch. The Breakfast Club’s pop-up restaurant was located in an old warehouse that used to be a metal works factory. It was pretty unassuming, and we only figured out which door was the entrance because a guard was standing outside, and he was clearly on the lookout for lost visitors like us. In case you were wondering, the restaurant’s name was inspired by the movie. The website gives a cute explanation as to how the restaurant could have also easily been named St. Elmo’s or Save Ferris.
Despite being located in a warehouse, the organizers did a pretty good job sprucing up the place. The inside was nicely decorated, with paper fixtures hanging from the walls, and the kitchen was inside a metal cover painted over with graffiti. There was also a DJ, but one of my friends noted that the music didn’t seem like it would be suitable for brunch.
My friend and I split two dishes because we wanted to sample both the savory and sweet options. The first dish was the Eggs Royale (£8.90). We were going to get the Eggs Benedict with the traditional ham, but the smoked salmon was too tempting to pass up. The portions here are plenty to stuff one person, so be prepared to slip into a food coma if you eat too fast. The poached eggs were cooked nicely, runny when you cut into them. In addition, the English muffin on the bottom was actually still crisp when we got the dish. There was also a pretty generous portion of smoked salmon. What did fall flat was the Hollandaise sauce. It was far too thin, and there was too much lemon: a pity since the sauce is a crucial element.
We also shared a serving of Pancakes & Berries (£6.50). There was a generous heap of vanilla cream and syrup on top of a stack of four pancakes. For you Americans, though, the syrup is thinner than the maple syrup that you’re probably used to at home. The pancakes were fluffy and well-received by everyone at the table. I remember that the pancakes I had originally tired when I first went to The Breakfast Club had a slight crispy exterior. While good, these pancakes did not.
My friend also ordered a side of Home-style Fried Potatoes (£1.50) because she had been craving them for so long. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why she wanted brunch. They didn’t disappoint her: slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Someone else ordered the Apple and Cinnamon French Toast (6.80). The roasted apples were piled high on top, and the bread was thick-cut (as it should be). The dish consisted of three pieces of French toast, one more than what I have seen at other breakfast places in London. I knew it was good because she was the first to finish her plate.
Another person ordered the Reggie the Veggie (£9.20), which comes with veggie sausage, home-style fried potatoes, eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomato, beans and toasted multigrain bloomer. We were all amazed by the sheer amount of food on the plate. Good thing she was very hungry. I also thought it was interesting that there was half a large tomato and one large mushroom on the plate. Normally, you would expect chipped up pieces. Large pieces made for an impact impression, and I’m sure it was also the chefs’ way of saving time.
The last person ordered the Half Monty (£8.00), which consists of bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, tomato, and toasted multigrain bloomer. It’s pretty much the same as Reggie the Veggie except not vegetarian. The bacon wasn’t burnt and, thankfully, didn’t resemble the overly crisp slivers of dried-meat that you would find in the frozen section of a grocery store.
Overall, the ambiance was good, the portions large, and the food satisfying. In my opinion, The Breakfast Club is one of the few places that boasts a good brunch but actually delivers.
The Breakfast Club
5 locations throughout London