L’eto Caffe, London

i have never once walked past this cafe along wardour street without stopping to admire the cakes on display in the shop window. i never ventured in however, until the queue at breakfast club (see review here) proved to be way too long on a sunday morning, and this seemed to be a decent substitute that was round the corner. it was busy when we visited but not overly so, enough to have a nice lively atmosphere but yet not too crowded and noisy. we were pleasantly surprised by the pretty good range of breakfast/brunch items that were all reasonably-priced.

there was a steady stream of customers the entire time we were there, and when we left slightly before noon, there was a crowd at the door waiting to be seated so its definitely quite a popular choice in soho for good food! here’s the menu:20131020_104228

having seen the amazing cakes in the window, we seriously contemplated just having a massive breakfast of sweet cake treats, but since we had woken up that morning with our minds set on breakfast club pancakes, we decided that we would not be happy if we didn’t get our pancake fix, and ended up ordering the pumpkin and honey pancakes, 3 poached eggs served with tomatoes and avocado, as well as l’etos famous honey cake:20131020_110208

the servings were actually pretty small (or maybe they just seemed small in comparison to what we would have gotten if we had braved the breakfast club queue) but given the price we were paying, we were satisfied. service was brisk and extremely attentive, so we were happy customers!

20131020_105801pumpkin and honey pancakes with fresh berries and honey buttery sauce – £7.90

the pancakes were good! we both loved how they were really rather pumpkin-y, both in terms of texture and taste. they were light but i thought they could have been a little fluffier (they seemed to be more of the dense type of pancakes, possibly because of the pumpkin?) and maybe prettier too if they were more regularly-shaped (but this of course, is rather irrelevant because taste is what is most important, right?) 😛 i would also have preferred a more generous serving of berries, but was satisfied otherwise with the yummy honey drizzled all over as well as the nutty bits sprinkled on top that really added bite to the otherwise rather “soft” dish. i would say our pancake craving was successfully satisfied after this, so thats’s a good sign!

20131020_1102483 poached eggs served on warm artisan bread toast with tomato and avocado – £7.90

on hindsight, this is actually a really simple dish that can be put together at home for a fraction of the price, but i can never resist perfectly poached eggs and some avocados of perfect ripeness! the star of this dish was definitely the toast – the artisan sourdough bread they used was really yummy that it made me consider buying home an entire loaf. the eggs were poached to perfection (just look at that golden yolk just dying to burst and ooze out onto the bread!!! sorry i know my yolk fanatic tendencies are emerging once again…) and though simple, it was a satisfying dish of a trusty combination of ingredients that can never really go far wrong.

20131020_105550honey cake (about £4 for the slice if i’m not wrong!)

this cake is something i will return to l’eto for. we were spoilt for choice when it came to picking something sweet to end off our meal and were very tempted by other fancier looking tarts and amazingly prettily decorated cakes (check out pics at the end of the post), but this was the one cake that was highly recommended by the staff as their specialty and one of their most popular. i can definitely see why! despite the alternating layers of cream and cake, it was amazingly light and had a lovely honey flavour without being overly sweet as one would imagine. in fact, it was rather subtle (there was actually a stronger taste of caramelised biscuits than honey, i thought? not sure why though!), the cream was wonderfully fresh and i thought the cake had an interesting texture which i cannot quite describe. its definitely something that is rather unique and won’t find often at other cafes, so i’d recommend ordering this if you pay l’eto a visit!

besides cakes and things on the menu, they also have a counter for you to pick from a good range of salads and quiches if that’s what you prefer:
20131020_104058i certainly wouldn’t mind returning to give these a try!

l’eto is a good place in soho to have a light and affordable meal, and it seems that those cakes do taste as good as they look. so the next time you stop in your tracks to admire the amazing display of cakes in the shop window, why not allow yourself to succumb to temptation and have a cup of tea and some cake? i highly doubt you’ll regret it 🙂

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L’eto Caffe

155 Wardour St
London W1F 8WG

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Breakfasts from around the world

breakfast – one of my favourite meals of the day 🙂 i would say its my favourite but then lunch and dinner are pretty deserving of that title sometimes too, so just one of my favourites it is!

Maison Ikkoku, Singapore

located along a quiet street in the kampong glam area, maison ikkoku is possibly one of my new favourite places for brunch in singapore! the cosy cafe is located on the ground floor of a 3-storey shophouse, while the second and third floors house a boutique and cocktail bar respectively – all part of a multi-concept lifestyle store that the people behind maison ikkoku are trying to sell.

i visited a week and a half ago and was extremely satisfied and impressed with the food – what better way to spend a saturday morning than with 2 of your bestest friends and amazing brunch food?

case in point:
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on weekdays, they only serve a limited range of breakfast items, and for a short 2 hours from 9am-11am (their weekday menu can be found on their website at http://www.maison-ikkoku.net/). if getting up before 10am and making your way to kandahar street proves to be a bit of a challenge for the more sleep-inclined among you, then besides the fact that its probably a lot more crowded on weekends, heading over on a saturday or sunday instead is a great alternative! the weekend menu is extensive and has an exciting range of all day breakfast items to choose from, which i love!

here’s a peek at the menu:
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we ordered 3 items to share, and they were all super yummy.

the first thing we got was the umami florentine – sauteed shiitake mushrooms + sauteed baby spinach with garlic + poached eggs + hollandaise sauce + sauteed asparagus + toasted english muffins! we also added smoked salmon on the side.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
umami florentine – $16 (+$4 for additional side of smoked salmon)

this dish was one of the BEST eggs benny/eggs benny variations that i have had. being a mushroom lover, i loved the addition of shiitake mushrooms which were perfectly cooked and plated in copious amounts (so much so that the sauteed spinach under the mushrooms is completely obscured). it was something different from the usual portobello mushrooms typically used in brunch food, and complemented the sauteed spinach perfectly. the spinach sauteed with garlic taken together with the mushrooms and finally topped with perfectly poached eggs was an amazing combination. the homemade hollandaise sauce was also wonderfully done; it was light (not jelat at all) and its consistency was just nice, bringing everything together very nicely. couldn’t get enough of it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAquintessential shot of oozy egg yolk

the next thing we ordered was the french toast with caramelised bananas – thick brioche french toast with cinnamon + caramelised bananas + home-made caramel with sea salt + toasted walnuts + sour cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
french toast with caramelised bananas – $15

if you like sticky cinnamon buns, this will be heaven on a plate for you. i happen to absolutely adore sticky cinnamon rolls so this was amazing to me – not only was the presentation super enticing with thick toast stacked on top of each other, piled high with caramelised bananas and walnuts, and drenched in an amazing caramel/cinnamon sauce, it also tasted really really good. didn’t taste much sea salt (as mentioned in the description) at all though, and we barely touched the dollop of sour cream by the side, (both of which were probably meant to balance out the sweetness of the toast i imagine) but that’s probably a good sign because i suppose we didn’t think we needed any of it, ie the toast wasn’t sickly sweet at all! the bananas were yummy, the toast was really thick and fluffy, and the walnuts were fresh and added a great crunch and texture to the dish. it is actually as filling as it looks in the picture though, so i think it’d probably be a bit too much for one person to stomach without feeling like its too heavy; this is ideal for sharing and is a lovely sweet lift to the usual savoury brunch options.

the third thing we ordered was the break of dawn – pork bratwust + crispy smoked bacon + cherry tomatoes + breakfast potatoes + scrambled eggs with chives + mesclun salad with almond & classic lemon vinaigrette +  double orange salad + sourdough toast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
break of dawn – $22

this is hands-down one of the most value-for-money brunch dishes i have ever had. seriously. at bigger establishments like wild honey, you’d probably pay more than this and get something barely 1/3 the size? just check out the size of that plate – it was HUGE and piled high with an array of breakfast foods. i think two average eaters can share this plate very comfortably and leave feeling very satisfied! each component on the plate was good which i thought was no mean feat, given that its rather hard to achieve that with the number of different things they served up.

the bratwurst was of a good quality (not at all the processed kind of sausage), and the cherry tomatoes were amazingly sweet, fresh and juicy. we all loved how they were the kind that are still on the vine when you buy them, and not the more run-of-the-mill oval-shaped ones. the potatoes and bacon were not bad too – well-fried and not too greasy. as for the mesclun salad and the orange salad, they were both very enjoyable additions to the plate to cleanse the palette in between bites of heavy breakfast food. the greens of the mesclun salad were fresh and the almonds added a nice crunch to the leaves. i also loved the lemon vinaigrette which was light and refreshing. as for the oranges, they were drenched in cinnamon and i’m not sure what they were meant to be eaten with, but they were delicious all the same and as i mentioned earlier, something refreshing to accompany the more greasy foods on the plate. the scrambled eggs were delicious. we all loved the addition of chives and they were light, fluffy and creamy – a worthy competitor of nassim hill’s scrambled eggs, i thought. they also gave a huge serving of scrambled eggs (we couldn’t finish it even among the 3 of us); not sure if you can see it in the picture but it was really a very big pile, plenty to be eaten with each component on the plate. last but not least, we had 2 thick pieces of sourdough, which was really welcome as an accompaniment for the hot foods on the plate to be piled high on.

despite the fact that the 3 of us are pretty big eaters, we did not manage to finish everything we ordered. we came pretty close though, because the food was so yummy that even though we were full, we kept picking at the remnants and going back for more bits and bobs left on the plates. unfortunately that left us with no space for desserts! they have several interesting cakes in the display, which i hope to try the next time i visit! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe were especially intrigued by the “fade to black” cake that is meant to be a tribute to Metallica. the coffee is also supposed to be good, but we didn’t have any as we found the prices for the drinks slightly steep.

all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed what maison ikkoku has to offer. great food with generous servings at very reasonable prices – no additional service charge added, so what you see on the menu is what you pay! its a great little place to hang out that has a very chill vibe, the kind of unpretentious place where you order at the counter and get water for yourself. the cafe is pretty small and it does get very crowded on weekends (we witnessed several people being turned away/being told to wait about 30 minutes for a table), so making a reservation is definitely recommended if you’re planning on going at brunch peak hour (about 11am onwards).

i’m definitely returning to maison ikkoku but i’m not sure what i’ll order this time – i enjoyed what we had the last time so much that i’m not sure how willing i will be to depart from those choices we made! maybe i’ll go on a weekday so my choices will be limited and i’ll be forced to try the rest of their offerings which i hope will be equally great! 😉

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Maison Ikkoku

20 Kandahar Street
Singapore 198885

ps. rich & good cake shop a few doors down has some great swiss rolls in variety of local flavours to offer – pop by & give it a try!!!

pps. don’t forget to pop by haji lane and kampong glam while you’re in the area! its always nice to take a stroll around a culturally rich area rather than being constantly surrounded by towering skyscrapers. some exciting post-brunch things we did that day documented by my la sardina:
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Little Diner, Singapore

i had been wanting to try this place for the longest time after hearing from a friend that they serve red velvet pancakes. red velvet and pancakes??? i’m personally not a huge fan of red velvet (don’t really understand the hype that always seems to come with it), but  the idea of the 2 combined sounded rather novel and enticing nonetheless.

made a trip to this new york-inspired diner found at a rather nondescript row of shops just before 6th avenue on good friday. my mother remarks every single time we drive by the row (which is often since I stay a stone’s throw away) that the restaurants there always seem to be struggling, with few customers each time we’ve passed them. the shops change hands frequently and I didn’t even know this place had popped up there! i really hope it stays though, because it was a satisfying meal and i will certainly be going back for more!

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we ordered 3 items from the brunch menu (that is served only on public holidays & weekends) – the epic breakfast platter (a special), delancey red velvet pancakes & cereal-crusted french toast.

the cereal-crusted french toast was a real crowd (they say 3’s a crowd :P) pleaser – the toast was ultra thick and of just the right moistness – the texture reminded us a little of bread & butter pudding. It was sufficiently covered in sauce while not being completely soaked, and the cereals added a nice bite. we loved every bit of it!!! for some reason, the pictures make it look rather cloyingly sweet (I think its the bright red of the berry coulis) but it wasn’t the case at all!

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Super cereal-crusted french toast: showered with powdered cinnamon sugar, whipped cream, berry coulis & maple syrup.

the red velvet pancakes were good, but none of us are particularly diehard fans of red velvet so we weren’t exactly raving about them. the pancakes were done really well though – of the right thickness, fluffy, and with a nice red velvet flavour, nothing too overpowering. they came with frosting that looked like a scoop of ice cream (what is red velvet without cream cheese frosting?) and it was good stuff! i think more toppings (mixed berries would have been wonderful) would have made the dish better though! although i understand that they were probably trying to stick to traditional red velvet – just cake and frosting, i got a little sick of what i was eating about 3/4 into my pancake (and so did my friends!). can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have the whole serving of 3 pancakes to myself! but they were still yummy, so don’t let my less-than-stellar review deter you from ordering them; i do think they are still worth a try!

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delancey red-velvet pancakes: showered with cinammon sugar, cream cheese frosting & maple syrup.

the final thing we ordered was from the specials menu – the epic breakfast platter. given that it was priced higher than the other 2 items we ordered and its name (“EPIC”), we were expecting something either huge or super extraordinary. unfortunately it was neither, though it was a very delicious traditional fry-up. the sausage was made of kurobuta pork, and it was juiciness, crunchiness and tenderness all in one roll – good stuff!!! as for the bacon, it was fried to perfection and the thick slices of toast went great with the scrambled eggs. the potatoes were also very well done and so was the grilled tomato. it was not too oily and overall a very enjoyable and satisfying plate!

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E.P.I.C breakfast platter

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The super yummy kurobuta pork sausage

besides the great food, the service at little dinner is also amazing. check out what greeted us at our reserved table when we arrived – such a simple but sweet touch! the staff were also extremely sincere and friendly, happily chatting to us and patiently acceding to our numerous photo requests (the waiter helping us take a picture even re-arranged stuff on the table several times to make the shot look better hahaha! that was at the start of our meal and we were sold on the place from that point onwards ;)).

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here is the brunch menu:
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they also have some specials everyday written on blackboards in the cafe.

total bill: SGD58

who i would recommend this to: people looking for a casual place for a relaxing meal. the interior of the place is rather simple but that’s what makes it laidback; it is the kind of place i’d go to on a sunday morning with my newspapers and without having to dress up. the service is great and staff are really friendly, so you feel at ease while having a leisurely meal.

will i be back? i hear the lunch/dinner menu at little diner is also very good. their burgers are supposed to be delicious, along with their pastas and fried chicken. the risotto balls also caught my eye! would love to go back and try it one day; maybe in summer! 🙂

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faces of satisfied customers:20130330125718106
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Little Diner
789 Bukit Timah Rd
S(269763)

and just because my friends and i are silly like that:
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love these girls hahahahahaah.
oh, its good to be home :’)

Singapore Foodspam

I AM IN HEAVEN.

Singapore = food, food and more food. And not just any food – amazing, delectable, delicious, mouth-watering, wonderful, sensational, marvellous, FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD.

this is the look i permanently have on my face:Image

one of sheer joy and excitement. my eyes light up like the high beam lights on my car when i see food. food from SINGAPORE. food from HOME.

took a while to get down to writing this post because i had some issues transferring pictures from my phone to my computer but its all been sorted now, so here i am!!!

been eating heaps since i got back and this post is 1) proof of that and 2) basically going to be a picture spam – you have been warned!!! after all, a picture paints a thousand words 😉

so, let’s begin.
random delicious things i have eaten since getting back (and this isn’t even half of it):

1. bak kut teh from my favourite bkt shop in singapore for dinner on the first day i got back! it is seriouslyyy good stuff, but its the herbal and not the peppery sort so it really depends on what type you like; this may not be your cup of tea! for those who are interested though, you can get some amazing piping-hot Klang-style bak kut teh at:

Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
321 Beach Road

don’t forget to add yew char kway (aka you tiao) and some salted veggies to your order! 😉20130324_190638the braised pigs trotters were yummy too!!! check it out – bubbling away…20130324_190801

2. i’ve also had countless cups of bubble tea – what’s new? for those who know me well enough, you’ll know that i love this drink so much that i worked at a bubble tea shop for a few months while waiting to enter uni last year. during the interview when they asked me why i wanted to work there, i simply said “I LOVEEEEE BUBBLE TEA”, and i think it must have been the unmistakeable sparkle in my eye and quickened rate of speech (due to sheer excitement of talking about my favourite drink) that landed me the job 😉

i do have my favourites – honey milk tea with pearls/grass jelly milk tea/fresh milk tea/milk tea with pudding+grass jelly+pearls (yes i am a milk tea kind of person!) but i generally drink alllll kinds of bubble tea and love checking out random new stores that pop up all over the place just to suss out which ones serve the real deal 😉
TIP: Toa payoh central currently has a grand total of 5 (or more???) bubble tea stores. perfect for a bubble tea drink trail? hahaahah.
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3. finally tried plain vanilla cupcakes from holland village after hearing so much about them – and i think they are definitely better than the ones at twelve cupcakes!!! maybe it was the outlet of twelve cupcakes i went to, or maybe they were having a day where their cakes were a little off, but i was unimpressed when i tried the cupcakes at twelve cupcakes! i found the cake too dry and more like a muffin than a cupcake, whereas at plain vanilla, their cupcakes are denser and more moist – how i think a cupcake should be!
get some at:

Plain Vanilla Bakery

34A Lorong Mambong
Holland Village20130326_145606
4. i am a fruit monster. and i am so happy to be back home getting to eat all my yummy tropical fruits (okay not everything in this picture is local, but look at the mangosteens and dukus!!!). here’s what happened when my sister and i went shopping for fruits when i first got home:
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5. amazing leafy, green, fresh & proper asian vegetables:
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didn’t realise how much i missed my legit asian veggies till i saw what my mother brought home from the market. think she got a little excited at the prospect of me being home and went all out with the marketing hahaha! but i’m not complaining.

6. bread – nothing that i can’t get in london but still good good food nonetheless:
freshly-baked fruit & nut loaf from baker & cook, a lovely little shop near my place, perfect for me to pop by for some good bread!

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Baker and Cook
77 Hillcrest Road

more yummy breads, from Maison Kayser this time – orange bread (L) and fig bread (R)! YUMMY.20130401_093631

7. something i grew up on and will always love – $1 ice cream from the pushcarts along orchard road! my standard order: attap chee ice cream in bread!!! i’ve always found it strange how people don’t know that these uncles sell attap chee ice cream; i’ve had to convince many disbelieving friends that attap chee ice cream does exist, these uncles do sell it, and YES, they have whole attap chees inside!!! hahaha. this uncle’s cart is the one i patronise the most – outside taka, at the crossing that will bring you to paragon! (and yes, i was so excited to be back and eating it again that i took a picture with the uncle hahaahhaahha)20130327_201323a

8. made a trip to peperoni’s – always going to be one of my favourite restaurants along the stretch of eating places at greenwood! super yummy squid ink linguine that made me look like i was wearing black lipstick for the rest of the meal:
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i love the pizzas they do at pepperoni’s too; they have the GINORMOUS family-sized ones which are always exciting and what i love is that they can do 2 flavours on 1 pizza! my favourites are the suprema, parma ham, frutti de mare, and the pancetta, and omg, you HAVE to try the giant portobello mushroom appetizer if you are there – it is to die for, especially if you are a mushroom lover like i am!!!

Peperoni Pizzeria
6 Greenwood Avenue

9. my mum had a friend visiting from the states and we had a mini local food feast at home! it was all very exciting and satisfying – 20130329_193631
CHICKEN WINGS!!!20130329_195953
POPIAH PARTY!!!20130329_200714
MEE SIAM!!!
along with many other things – oyster omelette, satay, chicken rice, kueh pie tee etc etc etc! YUMZ. i think i might have been more excited than her visiting friend… hahahahaha

10. homecooked wonders: i am so lucky to have a maid that is an AMAZING cook at home. here’s some of the stuff she has whipped up since i’ve been back – i have decided that i shall write a post on her one day hahaha just to honour her cooking prowess and skillz.
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had some traditional teo chew style yu sheng, just because i didn’t get to toss any over CNY this year 🙂20130330_200354
okay she didn’t cook this – we had it delivered hahahaa but still yumzzz. and i was super intrigued by how the pig is SMILING.. do you see it too!?!?20130330_204852
steamed fishhhh – something i have missed!!!20130330_205345
liver cooked to perfection – credit goes to my mum for this!!!
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my all-time favourite chinese soup – lotus root and peanut soup! omg i could eat bowls and bowls and bowls of this.20130331_195955tau suan!!! one of my favourite local desserts. she makes a mean pulut hitam too (Y)20130325_121626simple homecooked noodle soup with ikan bilis and an egg done just the way i like it – ah, how good it is to be home!!!

11. tau huay – lots and lots and lots of it. 20130330_212731

12. sugar cane juice!!! oh how i have missed you.20130331_132052

12. ngoh hiang – ALL-TIME FAVE, especially the prawn cracker (Y)20130331_132527

13. my favourite breakfast from ghim moh market – thosai/appam/soya bean milk20130403_082222

14. MEE JIANG KUEH – from my favourite stall, also at ghim moh market!!! its the best, srsly. 20130403_083434
okay i think i should stop now – i really apologise for the picture spam; i think i might have gotten a little carried away… but this is already a whittled down selection of food!!! i still have several individual places that i have visited and want to write about, and will get down to that soon and update when i am not stuffing my face or burying my head in books (who am i kidding – that has not been happening much at all) and hence have the time to write a proper post (like tonight when i decided that property law was just not happening for me 😦 as my friend very appropriately asked – “are you studying or eating???” )

till then, HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!!

much love,
rach (& her growing food baby)

Dishoom, London

got to know about this place via a friend’s instagram picture (yes i shamelessly confess – i am an instagram addict) and am really happy i made the trip down to their covent garden outlet to check it out!

dishoom is a bombay-inspired cafe that serves indian food throughout the day – indian breakfast, indian lunch and indian dinner! we went for the breakfast. my friend was surprised when he saw what it looked like – he was expecting more of a hole-in-the-wall/in-a-dank-basement kind of shop (typical stereotype of restaurants serving legit ethnic food…) when i described to him the idea of an “authentic indian breakfast”; dishoom is trendy, bright, clean and airy. i, on the other hand, was expecting exactly what i saw since i had visited their snazzy website many times before, inspecting the menu and deciding in advance what i was going to order lest i take a million years deciding at the restaurant itself (typical me).

Imageit was really empty when we arrived at 1030am (breakfast is only served until 11am) on a thursday morning so the staff were attentive and ordering was a breeze. food came fast and our hunger pangs were quelled in double-quick time (always a plus)!

i had the bacon naan roll and it is DEFINITELY something i will be going back for.

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the bacon was fried just nice (in my opinion, but opinions about how bacon should be done tend to differ) – crisp at the edges and not too soft in the middle; it was tasty and flavourful and went perfectly with the cream cheese and herbs that accompanied it. the proportion of cream cheese to bacon was also great – the cream cheese was not in such a copious amount that it left a “wet” feeling in your mouth. the naan (which they make on the spot – you can actually see them flipping the dough in the open-concept kitchen) was all fluffy and warm. the naan came with a chilli tomato jam which was also delicious – i was peeling off bits of my freshly-baked naan to dip into the jam, though the naan roll was yummy on its own already. and the best part of the dish? at an amazing affordable £3.70!!! some might find the serving small (especially for hungry boys), but i thought it was fine and value-for-money.

my friend had the bombay omelette which came with tomatoes grilled on the vine and fire toast (bread that is buttered then grilled, according to the menu). it was a tasty and fluffy omelette that was filled with tomato, onion, green chilli and coriander. i wouldn’t rave about it, but it was still good. the tomatoes on the vine were perfectly grilled, sweet and juicy. he added a sausage to his dish and the sausage was very yummy – crisp on the outside and the texture of the meat inside was not too soft.

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i also ordered their house chai, which is supposed to be their specialty, while my friend got a coffee. the house chai was not bad – light and fragrant, though i would have preferred it to be a little thicker (was imagining something a bit frothier like teh tarik). loved the cupsthey served the drinks in – seemed very legitimately and traditionally bombay-ish 😉 i didn’t try the coffee but since my friend ordered a second cup, i suppose it was pretty good!20130321_105003

we sat and chatted till lunch hour came and my friend wasn’t full from his omelette so he decided to order something from the lunch menu. he decided on the pau bhaji since themenu said “no food is more bombay” – it was a bowl of spicy mashed vegetables with a nice soft bun to accompany it. i didn’t have much of it but i quite enjoyed it from what i tried, and my friend was satisfied. it was really rather spicy but delicious with the warm and soft bun that accompanied it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

who i would recommend this to: people looking for a casual place to have an affordable and relaxing breakfast/brunch. they open at 8am for breakfast apparently, so its great for early risers or people who need to be somewhere soon after breakfast. when we went at 1030, there were plenty of available tables and though the crowd started coming in closer to lunchtime, at no point in time did we feel rushed/pressurised to leave.

will i return? yes definitely for the bacon naan roll! at a great price of £3.70 and dishoombeing conveniently located, i will definitely go back when i’m looking for a light breakfast/brunch that is something different from the usual morning fare.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADishoom

12 Upper St Martin’s Ln  London WC2H 9FB, United Kingdom
+44 20 7420 9320

-rach

PS. back in singapore (the land of AMAZING/GLORIOUS/WONDROUS/DELECTABLE/OUT OF THIS WORLD food) for easter break now, so look out for some singapore eats on the blog soon!!! 😀

The Breakfast Club, London

i LOVED the breakfast club. food and ambience-wise, it definitely lived up to my expectations (which were extremely high having heard so much about it). but what didn’t just live up to my expectations but EXCEEDED them, was the queue. despite the fact that we made a trip there on a weekday afternoon at 130pm (a time we assumed would mean a thinning post-lunch crowd), we had to queue out in the cold for a good 30-40 min before finally being let into the warmth of the cosy little place. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
some of our fellow queue-mates gave up and left the queue halfway, but i’m glad we didn’t  because i thought it was worth it!!!

check out all the accolades they have – i always trust a tripadvisor rating 😉OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the interior of the cafe oozes hippie vibes and has this lovely charm and a funky eclecticism about it. the atmosphere is laidback and super chill, and the staff are friendly and rather efficient!2013031515551495520130315155503833 

we knew what we wanted almost immediately as we had plenty of time to inspect the menu placed in the shop window while waiting in line outside.
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i had the pancakes with berries and OMG I thought they were the best pancakes EVER. i know my friends concurred because louisa proclaimed at the end of the meal that she was really full and satisfied but could do with more pancakes 😉
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they were of just the right thickness and were drenched in the perfect amount of maple syrup. the edges were crispy but the insides were soft and fluffy, and the cream that topped the stack was just amazinggg – light, fresh, and very tasty! they were also really generous with the berries which is something i loved; i hate it when restaurants are stingy with their toppings and you end up with either a lot of plain bread/pancakes etc without any toppings left, or too much toppings left because you scrimped and saved on the number you ate with each bite of the main (am i the only person who does this???). i am already looking forward to the next time i get to go back to have these pancakes; its going to be hard deciding between trying something new and having these again! maybe pancakes with banana and bacon next time? ~DROOLS~

louisa had the poached eggs with avocado on toasted bread and it was super yummy as well.
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the avocado was divine – it was topped with chilli and lime which brought everything together amazingly well. the avocado pieces were of the right size, not too pureed and not too chunky, and the texture and consistency of the mixture was great with just the right amount of bite. it was also neither too wet nor too dry. they were really generous with the avocado toppings once again, with a huge pile heaped onto the toast! lou did mention that she would have preferred the egg to have a runnier yolk though.

janus ordered the typical boy meal – the full monty.
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it came piled high on a huge plate like a breakfast mountain. i think it had potatoes, beans, sausages, mushrooms, black pudding, toast, eggs, a tomato, and bacon. like i said – BOY MEAL hahaha. surprisingly, it wasn’t too oily – in fact, we didn’t find a pool of oil collecting below all the food on the plate as i had imagined. i didn’t have much of this as i was pretty much preoccupied with my pancakes, but i did pick at the beans, sausage, black pudding and egg.
the scrambled eggs at the breakfast club aren’t the creamy/milky type so if that’s what you prefer, don’t go for the scrambled eggs here. they are of the drier variety, but pretty good nonetheless. as for the sausage, i thought it was quite nice as the skin (is that what its called?!) was crispy and the filling was soft, but louisa didn’t like it because she prefers firmer sausages. the bacon was yum and we all quite liked the black pudding, and janus said the potatoes were good! the serving was HUGE and janus couldn’t finish it despite being a growing, hungry boy. he also thought it was all quite messy and would have preferred the food to be more separated. but then again, isn’t that what a huge traditional fry-up is all about? in his words “its like… you find egg in your beans and beans in your egg” (he is not a fan of beans btw, hence the despair).

since we had queued for so long, we each went all-out and ordered a smoothie each too. 20130315144155749
clockwise starting from the light pink: the big breakfast, green is good, blue monday

green is good & blue monday were much lighter than the big breakfast and you will understand why once i tell you what went into the big breakfast. green is good had spinach, mint, mango & apple and it was a very light and refreshing mix, perfect to accompany a heavy breakfast. as for blue monday, it had blueberry, strawberry & apple so if you are a berry fan, this is the one for you!
i had the big breakfast and should have guessed from the name and the list of ingredients that it could probably constitute a meal on its own – strawberry, banana, oats, honey, yoghurt and milk. i finished it all despite it being very thick and extremelyyy filling because it was so goooood but next time, i’ll probably share it with someone.
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happy at the breakfast club!!!

total bill: oh dear, i can’t remember the exact sum but i think it was around £35-£40

ambience: relaxing, hip, funky, eclectic, cosy, warm, friendly

who i would recommend this to: anyone who loves and appreciates a good, hearty brunch in generous servings, and has enough time to spare to queue for a table! there is a queue outside this place at almost all times of the day (though when we left at around 3pm, there were empty tables – perhaps this is a good time to head there! for tea/ a late lunch) and i heard that on weekends, the queueing time can be as long as 1.5h (which even i am turned off by)! but if you have some time to spare, just take the queue as part of the experience – salivating as you peer through the window and see people feasting on their hearty meals, letting the anticipation of sinking your teeth into some good food build up 😉

will i return? YES! loved the vibe of the place and the food was really very satisfying. there are so many other things on the menu i would love to try! and the best part is, they serve breakfast from 9am to 5pm 😀 and if i’m not wrong, they even have some breakfast items that remain on the menu even after 5pm!

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The Breakfast Club
33 D’Arblay St  London, Greater London W1F 8EU
020 7434 2571

-rach