So finally, after what felt like a lifetime, I had a Saturday morning date and an opportunity to visit the Brighton branch of The Breakfast Club. Every time I have tried getting a table at one of the London branches it has been almost impossible – A good 15-25 people deep queue spilling out the doorway.
The Brighton branch is nicely nestled in the South Lanes and has taken residence where Fat Leo’s used to be. It’s had a quirky retro makeover and it’s been painted bright yellow, you can’t really miss it. It’s still spread over two floors but the layout has been changed to accommodate as many seats as possible…
Expectations were high, I’d already heard amazing things and I’d already chosen what I wanted from the menu (I got this so wrong – French toast with maple syrup and bacon is NOT on the menu) and yet somehow I left feeling disappointed. Eek.
We arrived before the rush at about 11am and by the time we left there was an 8-person queue filtering out from the entrance. We sat in one of the booths upstairs with a nice view through the stained glass windows looking out onto the square, which was actually pretty spacious considering the restaurant was filling up quickly – the booth was spacious, not the upstairs, they’ve tried to cram in as many tables downstairs and upstairs as they possibly can. Although we made it before it got too busy, the restaurant seemed to be lacking in staff and trying to get someone’s attention was proving pretty difficult.
The menu sounds great despite my dreamboat of a breakfast not being there – I have no idea why I thought French Toast was even on the menu in the first place, my bad. American classics with an English attention to foodie details. I was stuck between 3 choices;
Avocado and poached egg – with fresh chillies and lime on toasted multi grain bloomer £7.50
The all American pancakes – pancakes, eggs, sausage, home styled fried potatoes, streaky bacon and maple syrup £11
Chorizo hash browns – a BC classic – chorizo, mushroom, home styled fried potatoes and fried eggs £9.20
As many people know, I’m a boring creature of habit when it comes to breakfast. – eggs Royale with extra spinach, please. This time, I went against the grain and chose the Avocado and poached egg with extra chorizo for £2 extra – 1) It was a slightly healthier option 2) my friends went for the All American so I wouldn’t be missing out.
We were sat down for 20 minutes before anyone came and took our order, then we had to wait another 35 minutes for our food to arrive. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a busy time of day and we are eating in the centre of town but how long does it take to serve 4 people or even get someone’s attention? When the food finally arrived our eggs were over cooked and the extra sausages (ordered by my pals) were another 10 minutes late. When we finally got someone’s attention and told her (lightly moaned) about the eggs she was very quick to rush back to the kitchen and return with 3 fresh runny eggs – happy days, thank you.
It still baffles me that a breakfast restaurant cannot master a soft poached egg… shouldn’t this be a standard requirement? We even specifically asked for soft eggs but clearly this proved to be a challenge.
The flavours in my dish were really nice, I’ll give them that – more so than the All American pancake breakfast which was a bit bland. Spicy and limey avocado could have been the perfect addition but it wasn’t. The avocado was so cold that it quickly ruined the rest of it. I wasn’t expecting warm avocado but it would have been a lot better if it was served at room temperature.
My friends’ breakfasts were enormous and good value if you’re hungry, but I think the description sounded better than the real deal. For a restaurant that has received so much hype it really did not live up to expectations, which is a shame. So many cool things from London are making their way down to Brighton and this is a good thing, but they tend to be the lesser versions – slow service, caged booths in pubs, overcooked eggs…
I’m glad I’ve ticked it off but I shall not be returning to this BC. Perhaps I’ll persevere with the London branches before I write it off all together.