I’m not a breakfast person. However, I LOVE brunch. Being an army brat, brunches were very common in our family, when we were growing up in Pakistan. There was a brunch every other weekend and the variety of food always floored me. What I loved was the combination of breakfast and lunch dishes so there was always the option of picking and choosing without my mother angrily staring me into finishing my eggs. After all these years, look how the tables have turned…
You just have to say food…and I am there. The End.
But hey, not before you check out these three fantastic places I’ve picked for you before the Bank Holiday. Every one of them is special and you should DEFINITELY VISIT!
I’m currently moving flats but I couldn’t NOT share these places with you 😀
Egg Break, Notting Hill Gate W8 7TA:
Soho House does it again! They’ve recently opened an “egg-cellent” new joint focussed around their love for eggs in the trendy Notting Hill. Even better news? It’s a less than 5 minute walk from the station too! In search of food, my flatmate and I ventured close to home and having my radar on for food ALL THE TIME, I came across this newly opened joint. Lucky for us, that day they were doing the 50% off offer as part of their soft launch so we made full use of it.
The premises was previously owned by a Thai restaurant called Thai Break so guess what these guys did!? I love a sense of humour- you’ll just have to go and check it out for yourself! Let that be a surprise 😀
Managed by George and his team- a very cosy interior and surprisingly they have plenty of seating. I love the old rustic, chilled out charm of the place. I love bright interiors and something tells me I will be hiding here a lot more once the miserable winter starts taking over London YET again.
We ordered three dishes which were a good balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The first one I chose was the crisp polenta and mushroom ragu with fried egg on top- I just loved the sound of it and was really excited to try it. I’ve never had fried polenta this way and my oh my! it is one of my favourite dishes on the menu. I’m not even a vegetarian!!
My friend/flatmate chose the Eggs Benedict (she sometimes forgets I don’t eat pork haha but we had ordered plenty!) and before I could say “hey, thanks for the offer but I don’t eat pork”- I never got the offer to try it nor did that plate last more than 10 minutes. I take it she liked it?
One dish I could NOT wait to try was the Fried chicken and egg bun. I was thinking in my head (rather than talk to my friend) about what it will look like- all these images were just flashing through my mind like…
Anyway, I blinked and ta daaaaa!!! Have you ever felt your heart skip a beat? Yep…that happens every time I have a delicious plate of food in front of me. Did I want to share it? Not really…
I mean, would YOU share this if you had the chance?? I don’t think so…
Ok another close up…just look at it!
Electric Diner, Portobello Road W11 2ED:
Next to the oldest cinemas in London, Electric Diner is situated on the super busy and trendy tourist hotspot of Portobello Road. One thing I love about Portobello Road is that it has maintained its identity and they have not let chain restaurants fully take over the area like tourist hotspots usually become a victim of. Some of the best restaurants are on this road!
It’s regularly made the list of top brunch places to eat at- so as always I took this opportunity to drag my friends out for some iPhone time as a group because that’s how people do ‘social’ gatherings nowadays. (JUST kidding…about us doing that!)
I started off with something healthy aka carrot juice. My mother used to make me drink this when I was little and now I like it and order it voluntarily!
Good, wholesome, damn good plates of food to make you forget the notorieties of the night before! I thought the Eggs Royale wouldn’t fill me up- but boy was I wrong! I loved the fact the muffins were crisp rather than soggy as usually is the case if left too long before serving. Everyone enjoyed their food and I also loved the fries- so well cooked and crunchy!
Electric Diner is a very popular hot spot. Even on a Sunday, it was jam-packed so be sure to book ahead or be prepared to wait! Fuss-free dining and easy menu that has something for everyone. Why not make a full day of it and head into the Electric Cinema after…I hear their sofas are super comfy and you get served doughnuts. Well if that isn’t a movie experience to go for, then I don’t know what is! 😉
For more information and menu, check out their website here.
Gitane, W1W 7QF:
Saving the best for the last! 😉
Here I was one late night, scrolling through my Instagram feed staring at photos of food (doesn’t everyone do this?!) and I saw the most scrumptious looking Tachin (made with saffron rice, spinach and tomatoes)…
The food detective in me came out and I wanted this food ASAP! On further stalking, I landed on Gitane’s website. A modest Persian cafe tucked away in the ever popular Great Titchfield Street (opposite The Riding House Café)
I LOVE Persian food. It’s one of my go-to comfort foods or the top choice whenever I am eating out. The aromas, fresh ingredients, technique of cooking and taste is so appealing! When I read they do brunch on Saturdays, I HAD to go and visit them. How had I not heard of their brunch before? This situation had to be fixed asap!
Gitane, Love-Food-People, is exactly that! The moment you enter this lovely cafe, you instantly feel at home. There are very few places that have the ability to do that. It’s such a cosy space and full of bright light even if you’re sitting away from the window. The interior has been expertly done and is super cute!! You can easily bring your laptop, grab a hot cup of coffee and work away.
Anyone can open a cafe or restaurant but if it’s a result of your passion– then it will always shine through. Such is the case with Gitane. Run by a husband and wife dream team– Bahman and Negar decided to share their dream with everyone in 2012.
While during the weekdays Gitane serves busy workers in the area with their quick snacks, on weekends they offer a much wanted respite from the craziness of the high street.
Brunch every Saturday from 9:30am till 2PM makes it even more special. Honestly, given the choice between The Riding House Cafe and Gitane, I’d pick Gitane as how often do you get to try Persian brunch and there’s no hassle of queuing.
When it came to choosing our brunch dishes, we were spoilt for choice. They don’t have an extensive menu however all the dishes sounded so good that it made it harder for us to choose! We got there in the end 😛
We decided to go for a mix of sweet and savoury!
First off was the traditional Persian omelette. Very similar to the masala fried eggs we make back home and I also shared the recipe a week ago with you guys 😀 They came cooked in a skillet, ready for us to start eating them right from the pan. Fresh sourdough breads were a perfect accompaniment. The portion of tomatoes used in this recipe are perfect and do not overwhelm other flavours in this dish.
Next up was a sweet version of the omelette called Khagineh. As the food is made fresh to order, you can taste every single ingredient in the dish. The maple syrup and generous sprinkles of pistachios took this dish to another level. It was the perfect amount of sweet. Even though I am more of a savoury person, I still loved this version of the omelette.
And last but not the least, the lovely host Bahman. Such a humble and down to earth guy! The passion really shines through and you understand why he gave us his job in the city to work on his dream along with his lovely wife Negar. The dynamic husband and wife duo have some great ideas around expansion of their baby.
They also do supper clubs so if you’re interested in those, check out their supper clubs here.
On my way out, I cheekily grabbed a takeaway of Tachin- after all that’s what united me with one of my favourite cafes and brunch places in London. I highly recommend this place! You will not be disappointed 🙂
For more information, menu and location, check out their website here.