How we brunched:
For me, in the quest to find the Best Brunch Ever, The Breakfast Club was a clear starting point. I had heard about it from many people’s instagrams and John Hughes’ biggest fan Rachel and so, on a chilly Sunday Morning in January, we took to the streets of Soho.
It had already been an eventful weekend. Our good friends had come to stay and see Wicked with us, but one had been struck ill the night before with terrible stomach pains, which we had unprofessionally diagnosed as the highly infectious norovirus. For all we knew, this brunch could be our last, so we were determined to make the most of it.
The Breakfast Club had considerable queues on a Sunday morning at 11am, and we soon became certain that every hunger twinge was the dreaded virus starting to set in. We didn’t want to be beaten, and decided the best way to shorten the wait time was to talk about our infectiousness as loudly as possible.
“I DEFINITELY FEEL QUEASY,” Amy proclaimed, leaning against the yellow painted wall.
“OH NO, POOR FRIEND, I HOPE IT ISN’T THE NOROVIRUS. IT IS AWFULLY CONTAGIOUS. YOU COULD BE THROWING UP FOR LITERALLY DAYS.”
It didn’t work. Through the window we could see a happy Chinese family picking at pancakes and playing Candy Crush Saga. They weren’t even eating them. They were taking up a whole table. One of the teenagers had an iPhone in each hand. We glared angrily through the glass, our only reassurance being that their pancakes did look great.
After forty minutes, a table for two became free and we took our seats, immediately ordering a vanilla latte each to warm us after the cold. I ordered the Bacon and Banana French toast, feeling it would satisfy the simultaneous craving for salty meat and sugar that embodies brunch-hunger. The crispy American-style bacon had been crystallised with icing sugar and it tied the fruity banana and soft yet crispy waffle together perfectly. The coffee was strong and not too sweet, which is how I liked it.
Our friend’s norovirus turned out to be an inflamed muscle in the lower abdomen, and so really, everyone was a winner.
Now, while Hattie is a rather intimidating foodie who knows the difference between Eggs Benedict and Eggs Royale, has a favourite series of Masterchef Australia (even though we live in England), and who has a “Food” Pinterest board to rival any professional chef’s, that’s not quite the case for me. Here are a few things I need to confess right now:
- I didn’t eat eggs until 2013
- I didn’t drink tea until 2014
- I hate all fruit unless it’s in a juice. Yes, all fruit. Yes, even strawberries
- This entire blog is partly a reference to One Direction (that’s got nothing to do with food, it’s just important to acknowledge)
You may be thinking “all of those things combined make you INCREDIBLY unqualified to judge brunch!”
Well, perhaps. But think of it this way – I’m not comparing all the food to how I THINK it should be, I’m just taking it as it comes. And that was certainly the case when we went to The Breakfast Club.
Shocking as it sounds, this was technically my first proper brunch. Sure, I’d had a fry up at a motorway café at 11am before, but this was the first time I had deliberately gone to a nice restaurant looking for fancy breakfast food as one of my main meals of the day.
The fact that we were queueing for so long was only raising my expectations further. When we were finally led inside by a fun looking waiter in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, my excitement levels were through the roof. There was fun 80s memorabilia on the bright yellow walls, and the choons were banging. Celebratory “we’ve not got the norovirus yet” selfie out of the way, I ordered the Eggs Benedict, and it was a pretty wonderful introduction to the concept of brunch.
The portion size was just right for that time of the day, the English muffin was nice and soft, and the egg was cooked perfectly. I wasn’t in love with the Hollandaise sauce, which was a little vinegary for my tastes, but that’s as much to do with my dislike of anything too acidic as it is of anything The Breakfast Club did. The atmosphere was cool, and there was always something new to look at on the walls, even in the loos.
All in all, it was an excellent start to our brunching adventures.
4.5/5 – For me, nothing wrong with the food, but I reserve 5s for meals that make me hyperventilate.
4/5 – Yes, it was great, but a little vinegary and WHO SERVES SALAD WITH BRUNCH?
5/5 – It has every brunch food you can want, four types of Eggs Benedict included.
5/5 – If you were being examined on the range of brunch foods available in the world, this would be your revision material.
4/5 – Flavoured coffees, smoothies and teas, but nothing incredibly original there.
4.5/5 – Specialised coffees and a selection of teas is all I need (but there’s always room for more).
0.5/5 – I mean, you could potentially have two courses, a sweet and a savoury, but you would be very full.
0/5 – The only sweet option involves berries on your pancakes. NO DICE.
3.5/5 – I love the John Hughes theme but it can feel quite overwhelming and crowded, if you were hungover for example.
4/5 – Yeah, it was very cramped. Great for spying on other people’s meals, not so great for the claustrophobic among us. Saved by its charm though.
4/5 – I spent about £12, which was great for food of that quality.
4/5 – Sames.
3/5 – A long wait to get in, but once in we felt welcomed and not at all hurried, which we easily could have been.
3.5/5 – The waiting staff was really apologetic about the wait and were just the right amount of chatty. Still a 40-minute queue though.
– Social Media
2.5/5 – They do have an active twitter account and can answer questions, but didn’t interact with us and no flare.
3/5 – Great that they answer questions about opening times etc, but if you’re not gonna RT my great brunch photos then you can’t get more than a 3.
– Coolness of Waiting Staff: 4/5
– Funky Choons: 3/5
– Crazy Décor: 5/5
– Jokes on the sign outside: 5/5
Bonus points: 17/20