Megan Walsh enjoys a daytime menu that actually doesn’t rely on the avocado
GOING out for a bit of breakfast at the weekend is great, but I swear: if I have to eat one more portion of poached eggs and avocado then I’m going to have to scream. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy avocado and eggs. Who wouldn’t? It’s a perfect creamy marriage. However, I can’t help but feel that somewhere in the not too distant past a crusade was started. A crusade in which avocados went on to conquer every single breakfast place, obliterating any other meal that stood in its way to becoming the only Insta-worthy breakfast option for millennials across the land.
This pick’n’mix of shrooms was garlicky and woody; each forkful giving a completely different texture
Now it seems you can’t go anywhere without an avocado invading your plate. And there’s no escape: “Add avocado for £1”, I am obnoxiously prompted by menus. “Would you like avocado with that?” I’m asked by servers. Christ, there’s even an avocado shrine emblazoned on some poor wall down on Bold Street.
It all feels like propaganda to me (yes, I’m being dramatic, but I believe in freedom of speech) and, due to my non-conformist breakfast-eating ways, I now seek menus that celebrate diversity. If you will, I’ve started my own culinary uprising.
My position in the Avocado Resistance Party is probably why I have avoided visiting Duke Street’s newly refurbished The Brunch Club until now. Its name alone makes me fall into a weary daze, but instead of seeing stars, I see avocados and eggs – poached, of course. As it turns out though, The Brunch Club isn’t just a club for ‘brunchers’ at all. It’s open until late and – thank God – the avocado is merely a complement to an otherwise varied and very tempting menu.
We’re here for a Saturday breakfast. It’s 11:30am, and, foolishly, we didn’t make a reservation. This was an instant regret because the place was chocker – but the front of house was more than accommodating, finding us a spot at the bar while we waited for a table.
I didn’t mind the wait, to be honest: it gave me some more time to admire what they’ve done with the place. As we know, the indoor garden is having a moment, and The Brunch Club has embraced it entirely. There are plants everywhere and they contrast with rich gold tones and exposed brick pillars. Golden age funk and soul is coming through the speakers, just loud enough to make the brave cocktail-drinkers give it a little shoulder-shimmy at their table.
Soon enough we were taken to our table and with zeal I ordered the wild mushrooms on toast (£7). But then it suddenly dawned on me: mushrooms on a brekkie are often soggy and waterlogged and so I began to regret my choice, pre-empting my breakfast puddle of wet bread and squeaky, slug-like mushrooms. Thankfully, all my worrying was for nothing.
Far from soggy, this pick’n’mix of shrooms was garlicky and woody; each forkful giving a completely different texture. The mushrooms came on two slices of toasted sourdough with a thick smear of hummus. The eggs delivered on the ‘yolk porn’ and elevated the dish once more with the pièce de resistance being the salty scattering of mixed sumac and dukkah spices.
The chorizo scrambled eggs (£9.50) was a generous pile of buttery eggs mingled together with smoky chunks of chorizo, and topped with a splodge of red onion jam and a chunk of creamy goats’ cheese. There were so many bold flavours coming through, and the jam left a lingering sweet aftertaste that kept you going back in for more.
Everything arrived in a matter of minutes. In some cases, this can make you feel like you’re in some sort of conveyor belt dining hall with you giving yourself indigestion so the restaurant can have its table back. Not here though: we ordered another flat white and a Lifeguard juice (£4.50), and were left undisturbed to chew the fat.
Brunch is a meal that’s meant to be savoured, after all: Guy Beringer coined the concept to help us nurse our Sunday-morning hangovers while sharing stories of the night before. And so that’s exactly what we did, along with umpteen other diners. With not one avocado in sight. For me anyway.
, 37-41 Duke Street, L1 5AP
All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, paid for by Confidential and completely independent of any commercial relationship. Venues are rated against the best examples of their type: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: Netflix and chill, 10-11: if you’re passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: cooked by God him/herself.
Mushrooms 8, chorizo eggs 8, Lifeguard juice 7
Couldn’t have been more helpful
Soul music and sourdough: what’s not to love?