To ensure that we all keep in touch and get out a little more often, my friends and I formed a brunch group. Well, we do a lot of things together regardless, but it just seemed logical to focus heavily on our shameless interest in eating. One of my friends has lovingly dubbed us The Brunch Bitches and jokes that we should start making our own key chains and other memorabilia. I’ll leave the name up in the air… But I do love the idea that we’ve sort of formed a club. The first place we visited was Friend of a Farmer, a brunch place one of my friends absolutely loves.
Friend of a Farmer is decorated as if it’s a cozy home in the countryside. The patterned wallpaper, wooden picture frames, and hanging copper pans help to take away from the fact that the restaurant is jam packed. It’s difficult to pull out your seat without bumping into a server or fellow guest. But I think that’s a bit of the charm of the place.
Filipino food is a melting pot of different cuisines. Having been colonized by multiple countries and having served as a former point of entry into the Far East, the Philippines has incorporated Spanish, Chinese, and American influence into its food. My friend, who is Filipino, tells me that the combination of sweet and salty on one plate is characteristic of Filipino food. Knowing that everyone that day was a Filipino-food virgin, she took us to one of her favorite joints: Maharlika.
Maharlika has an interesting blend of old-style yet modern décor. It also does a Filipino-inspired brunch. One thing to note, though, is that everyone in your party has to be present in order for you to be seated. So if you have a large group and made reservations like we did, be prepared to pester any late sleepers. The waiter sounded extremely robotic and scripted, and he offered to clarify anything, as the menu has a lot of Tagalog. We preferred to use our Filipino friend as a translator.
She ordered the Longsilong Breakfast ($12), which comes with garlic rice, a sunny side up egg, and sausages. Apparently, in the Philippines you are supposed to use your spoon as a knife. Only my Filipino friend managed to do this successfully. The rest of us just created piles of mash on our plates. I felt this dish was on the expensive side given its complexity.
You can never have too much of a good thing, right? Well, at least that’s the conclusion my friends and I reached regarding brunch. Specifically, brunch at The Breakfast Club. Every time I have visited, I convince all my friends with me to order something different, so I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve tried almost the entire menu. I’ve reviewed a pop-up version of The Breakfast Club before, but I figured that an actual location deserved it’s time in the spotlight as well. Basically, I think it’s time everyone joined the club.
This time, I went to The Breakfast Club with just one other friend. Our time in London is sadly almost over, so we wanted to visit our favorite places at least one last time. Good brunch places that are also reasonably affordable are truly hard to come by in any part of the world. It was a good thing that we arrived early; The Breakfast club always has a considerable line going out the door. Even with two people, we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, and by the time we left the line was twice as long. We went to The Breakfast Club in Soho, which is quite small, so be prepared to get cozy with your neighbors.