Of course, the coffee was mine.
YES! It's a new post about brunch! High fives everyone! I know I know, I've missed it too.
As a new resident of North London, the main benefit of this, (aside from the vastly reduced commute to work) is the multitude of yummy exciting eateries within easy reach.
Salads and tings
Last weekend, in need of brunch-like sustenance, housemate and I decided to check out Kentish Canteen on the recommendation of our new pretend BFF/obsession Giles Coren.
Mere metres from the tube station, Kentish Canteen offers a pared down simple menu with all the usual brunch suspects available. As soon as you walk in, the theme of homage to the NW5 locale is prevalent, announcing the postcode in huge letters above the door, and the wall dedicated to large arty photography of the surrounding area.
I'm a huge advocate of local eateries versus chain restaurants, so I liked that this place takes its inspiration from good old K Town, which has that London-village type feel. When done well, this approach can create and enhance the neighbourhood feeling and create a real community space, and when centred around good honest food done well, I'm a big fan.
So yes, the food. Housemate and I both went for various egg/hollandaise based dishes - I the Eggs Royale, and he the Eggs Florentine. We both agreed that the hollandaise sauce was amongst the best we'd had. Rich and velvety, it went beautifully with the perfectly poached eggs.
Poached eggs - action shot
I thought I'd also make a point about the service. I noticed amongst reviews I've seen that while generally the food has got the tick in the box, there are a few negative comments around the service received. As far as I could tell while I was there, the service was absolutely fine. The staff were friendly, and even offered us our second drinks for free as there was a slight delay in our eggs coming out (to put this in context, I hadn't noticed there was a delay at all - so it must have been very very slight as I am notoriously impatient when it comes to food!).
After eating my delicious Eggs Royale, I was starting to feel a little full. But then I locked eyes with the specials board. 'Lavander Creme Brulee!' it declared. That is nothing if not a call to action, I was powerless, POWERLESS to resist. There are few greater pleasures in life than tapping the top of a pristine creme brulee caramel top until it cracks into those gorgeous golden shards of sugar glass, like some kind of stained glass window of a gingerbread house. I defy anyone to be able to pass that opportunity by.
Housemate and I decided to share, given our full stomach situations and I'm very glad we did as it was HUGE.
HUGE but delicious. I'm very fussy when it comes to creme brulee: as we all know when done well it can be but heaven itself. But if the skill is not there, it can be a big fat mess.
No mess here, the top was perfectly caramelised, with a smooth rich creamy vanilla custard underneath with just a hint of the subtle lavender which gave it a lovely flavour.
And so, with that lovely post-brunch full-stomach fug looming over me, I left Kentish Canteen with a happy belly. And I will most definitely be returning.