You would be forgiven for initially thinking that this is a flippant article about not very much. But do not be fooled for there is a fierce debate going on in Breakfast Land – namely, is halloumi a valid breakfast item? ‘A thousand times yes!’ I would cry, if anyone asked me for my view. But before you start worrying that this post is all about halloumi, it’s not, it’s really just about excellent places to have breakfast, some of which feature halloumi (in case I’m accused of being cheesy).
The National portrait gallery restaurant must be one of the most beautiful places to have breakfast in London. It gets busy and it’s not cheap but when I’ve been before I’ve just had the egg and soldiers and it’s been worth it because you get to look out right over the city.
To those halloumi naysayers, I recommend a trip to the excellently-named Break Out in Caledonian road. It is opposite Pentonville prison in case you’re wondering and is recommended by one of the locals in this article. You can have a ‘build your own breakfast’ which is exactly what you want on a hangover. Items include black pudding, a huge portion of bubble and squeak, hash browns, eggs any way you want ’em and plenty more besides. Hell, you can even have halloumi. It’s extremely cheap and you get to rub shoulders with HMP’s finest (employees, rather than residents). The home-made coleslaw is also delicious. For more advice on hangover cures please see my suggested hangover cure featured (and endorsed) by the Guardian here. I would quite like to have ‘insightful combination’ inscribed on my gravestone.
A little more local to my house in Brixton is Sitifis which is friendly, has great food and is cheap. Last time I went, I got Eggs Benedict for under four quid. You can read more about it in this excellent review by Urban75. Just beware that the name is easy to mispronounce as something altogether less appetising…
If you’re chilly (and most of the people reading this probably will be quite a lot of the time), there’s the Rabot Estate café by Borough Market which is a good way to warm up escape the bustle. Apparently the Rabot Estate plantation in St Lucia is perfectly located for cocoa trees due to the fertile volcanic soil being near Mount Gimie, the Soufriere volcano and Sulphur springs; as well as the high altitude and the rainwater. I recommend the chilli hot chocolate – excellent for a cold, rainy Monday afternoon in London although I really wouldn’t kick it out of bed any day of the week.
I’ve mentioned quite a few other Brixton-specific places in my blog previously such as the Lido café and Brickbox but they deserve another mention because they do such delicious breakfasts. I’ve also mentioned Z Bar in Stoke Newington before and this is a great place to have a healthy breakfast with wholesome, tasty juices and such like.
If you’re after a plain old bacon bap probably don’t go to St John’s (Farringdon or Spitalfields). If on the other hand, you’re after one of the tastiest bacon baps ever, then head on over. I was taken there on the excellent Walk Eat Talk Eat culinary tour.
If you are going to eat at home, and if you only take away a few words from this blog post, pray let it be: ‘STAFFORDSHIRE OATCAKES’. (If you have ever tried them, you would understand the need for capitalisation here.) You can get packs of them from Neal’s Yard for about a pound and even from some supermarkets. Mrs Marmite Lover recommends making them yourself. These oatcakes are soft, a bit like galettes and you can have them sweet or savoury. I would recommend having them with goats cheese because it’s like tasting a little bit of heaven.
If you have any other good tips to share, please let me know…