Monday, 28 April 2014

The Jones Family Project - Shoreditch

Shoreditch is full of restaurants cafes and bars with quirky d├ęcor and edgy artwork, many of them offering quality food and drink (although not as many of them as I would like serve a fry up!). The Jones family project is no different with its exposed pipework and an indoor tree (we aren’t talking Waxy O’Connor’s in Soho and I’m no horticulturist but it was definitely a tree). But what really makes this place a little different is the idea of this being a ‘project’ run by a group of friends, rather than just a business.

The weekend brunch runs until well into the afternoon, but there aren’t many traditional breakfast type options on the menu. However, the most important dish is there – ‘The full on’ is Ginger Pig sausage and bacon, eggs, tomato, mushroom and baked beans with toasted white or wholemeal bread. I then added Smoked black pudding for an extra £2 (the chef’s recommendation). The brought the total cost up to £13. Pricey, so I was hoping for something special.

The menu was very keen to make sure I knew that the sausage and bacon where from the ‘Ginger pig‘ farm in North Yorkshire. The sausage was great, very meaty and mellow peppery flavours. Another plus point was the extra thick cut bread for the toast which formed a great base for the breakfast. There were problems though; my two poached eggs I had were overcooked, so no runny yolks for me and the mushroom was a bit washed out and lacked a depth of flavour.  And then there was the recommended black pudding, which I found very disappointing, for an extra 2 quid I was expecting something special, but it was quite dry and frankly very ordinary.

I can’t fault the service and the coffee was good. What I didn’t get however, was a sense that this place was anything different to all the rest. I didn’t get the ‘family vibe’ and I wasn’t wowed by the food.

The verdict
A trendy but expensive fry-up which didn't deliver much out of the ordinary.


Monday, 14 April 2014

The Parlour – Canary Wharf

Marathon day is one of London's most exciting, people come together to cheer on the thousands for great causes. The sun normally shines and everyone seems to be that little bit more cheery! My favourite spot to watch from is Canary Wharf. That is about 19 miles in and the runners need all the encouragement they can get at this point (I know I did when running last year!) But before all that cheering a good breakfast is required.

We headed to The Parlour which is in Canada Square, it is part of a small chain of bar/ A nice setting with lots of outside space, we decided to have breakfast in the sun. So let me tell you about the fry up or as the menu calls it the ‘Proper London fully loaded’, for some reason. £7.95 gets you a grilled ‘Londoner’ sausage, streaky bacon, roasted tomato, field mushroom, baked beans, black pudding & two eggs your way with “unlimited” toast. Served not on a plate, but on a hot frying pan/griddle pan (regular readers will recall this same idea at a place in Clapham). This fad is a ridiculous idea and should be stopped right now! The result today was two extremely overcooked poached eggs.

There were some good things here; the so called ‘Londoner’ sausage was fantastic, packed with smoky meaty flavour. A good portion of beans and a Portobello mushroom also ticked the boxes.

What lets this place down more than its try hard presentation is the service. It was Marathon day and therefore I’m sure it was busier than usual, but they had planned for this and had seemingly hundreds of staff! And yet it was nearly impossible to get our order taken. The hash browns we ordered never turned up and when I decided to add to the one slice of toast that arrived in my frying pan (this comes with unlimited toast remember), I ended up with £4 or extra toast on my bill.

The verdict
Some good ingredients let down by absurd and pretentious presentation and appalling service.