It’s been a long time since the last Brunch Club as we were all busy in August, so there was a lot to catch up on this time. Our first post-summer outing took place on Sunday 30th September 2018 at The Good Egg, Ground Floor Kingly Court, Kingly Street, London W1B 5PW and they don’t take bookings so we planned to get there early so that we wouldn’t have to wait. However, we didn’t recheck the opening times after moving our plans from Saturday to Sunday and so ended up queuing anyway as we arrived 30 minutes before they opened! Just as well the sun was shining over central London.
Eleanor: I had about four glasses of tap water, which they provided without asking with a bottle for the table. And then a flat white which was good.
Lou: I had two pots of solid English breakfast – it’s Tea Pigs in a tea bag which means it’s strong. They refilled the hot water for us at one point too, which was nice.
Lori: I had my usual latte, but with oat milk as they don’t have soya. It was pleasant enough but I’m now thinking I should perhaps venture away from my usual to a different drink for our next brunch. The orange juice I had afterwards was really lovely though.
Ed: Following Lou’s cue as always, I also had English Breakfast. It felt like very nice tea.
WHAT WE HAD
Eleanor: For main I had the Shawarma Hash which was really tasty. The meat was flavoursome and tender. The potatoes were yummy. It felt like the quantities were a bit off – I could have done with another egg and much more red pepper. Overall, delicious. Lou and I shared some cornbread with honey butter – very tasty. For brunch pudding I had a Babka ‘smore -it was pretty tasty but more to do with the labneh and honey than the ‘smore. I couldn’t finish mine!
Lou: I also had the lamb shawarma and it was delicious. And the corn bread was my favourite corn bread I have ever tasted (though Lantana’s comes a close second!) ! Although I also would have liked another egg and possibly some green veg on the dish, I thought the portion size was generous. And the generous size went through to the s’more babka which I really really enjoyed but also really needed more marshmallow but was absolutely amazing (I finished mine!)
Lori: Having had (and loved!) the shakshuka with crispy halloumi when I came here once for lunch, I decided to complete the meat-eater trio with the same choice for brunch main course as Lou and Eleanor, plus a side order of sourdough. It was absolutely delicious and I loved the pickles, but totally agree with the others about the quantities. The dessert I ordered was a coconut malabi and it was wonderful, with lots of tasty fruit.
Ed: I had the Shakshuka with crispy halloumi and it was glorious. Really tasty indeed with lovely soda bread on the sides too. Definitely recommend. For desert I had a Pecan and Pretzel pie, which was delicious. There were chunks of chocolate in there too as well as caramel so the whole thing tasted like a big mars bar.
WHAT DID WE CHAT ABOUT?
Eleanor: Weddings! I got engaged last week and planning is well underway. Talk about the wedding industry and its wastefulness and how great it is to have friends (like Lori and Ed!) who did things their own way.
Lou: This time we didn’t talk about drag race *at all*!
Lori: Weddings (specifically Eleanor’s!) and what we’ve all been up to since we last met up.
Ed: Weddings! Also some chat about the waiter we had who was very attractive and made me incredibly nervous indeed.
SERVICE, ATMOSPHERE, TOILET STANDARDS/QUIRKS
Eleanor: Toilets were gender neutral and tastefully designed with some good soap, but small and dark. Service was a mixed bag – we felt quite rushed upon sitting down but then there were long spells where our finished plates were left on the table.The staff were all friendly and looked after us but the whole operation felt unorganised.
Lou: Good Egg on a Sunday is *busy*. We were first in the queue but on reflection we could have turned up at 12 and had a slightly less rushes brunch? Oh, but beware their Babka sells out really quickly!! I enjoyed our waiter, but plate collection was haphazard. Just to add on the loos that there is a separate accessible loo, and I *loved* the #NoGifilte lights in the main bathroom!
Lori: Our order was taken quickly, but the food was very slow to arrive (our waiter did apologise for this) and plates took a while to be completely cleared away. On this evidence, definitely not a place to go on a Sunday if you’re in a rush. Also, despite the weather having turned colder, they opened all the front doors and it got very chilly when the sun went in!
Ed: True to form (I’m either really early or late) I arrived very early indeed and milled around outside where the queue started to form. Agreeing with Lou again, we could have drifted in very easily at 12 to get a nice table, but perhaps a number of the specials would have run out. There were large delays with both courses of food (often we don’t notice this, which speaks to how much the delays were) there was also a sense that they had run out of a lot of the desserts. Did they have issues in the kitchen that day, I wonder?
Eleanor: Travelled home with Lou, then a walk around the local park with my FIANC… and our dog before home for a post-babka nap and a rewatch of Brooklyn Nine Nine.
Lou: I went home to finish off batch slow-cooking some sausage stew, tidy and complete a sewing project!
Lori: I headed to a queer clothes swap at The Apple Tree pub on Mount Pleasant. It was a very lovely afternoon and my bag of goodies found good new homes.
Ed: Headed home to do more autumn cleaning of the flat with Husband, then watched more Killing Eve!
Eleanor: I really enjoyed the food here, and would love to go back but the venue did not appeal. Maybe I’ll try the Stokey branch next time. I do wonder how authentic the restaurant is, the website doesn’t say who runs the place.
Lou: I would go back just for the Babka and the Cornbread.
Lori: Having been to this branch of The Good Egg before, for lunch on a weekday, I was a bit disappointed as the service the first time I visited was much better. Perhaps they don’t think anyone’s in a rush on a Sunday? I have to say, the food was excellent though.
Ed: I did really like the food and the location was pleasant. I didn’t like the atmosphere (queuing for brunch felt weird!) I feel like they probably have a reputation and have been listed on a “top ten London brunches for tourists” on some website, hence all the buzz. I wouldn’t say the outcome was particularly worth queuing. I would have enjoyed the experience much more if the place had been quieter and there was a general sense that they had enough food for everyone.
The image at the top of this post is via The Good Egg. All other images were snapped by Brunch Club members on their phones, so excuse any blurriness as we were all rather excited about eating the food.