Saturday, June 04, 2011

london eats: breakfast at the wolseley

The Wolseley
160 Piccadilly
London W1J 9EB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7499 6996

I cannot think of a single person who doesn't love a good breakfast. I know I do and I had one of the best breakfast experiences in London at The Wolseley. 

The Wolseley was home to the first Barclays Bank branch opened in April 1927. The dining room is beautiful with high ceilings and has lots of old charm. In fact, you could sort of imagine how it used to look like as a bank back in the day. Today, The Wolseley is one of the most popular spots for breakfast and is often frequented by celebrities. In fact, I think it also is a place for bankers and rich businessmen because most of the people I saw looked like they were going to close a multi-million deal that day after getting their coffees and juices. The service was not London's best but it was passable. I guess the whole experience of people watching and feeling like 'I probably should have gone to work too' that day made it all interesting for me.

The food had to be decent as well cos no good experience is complete without good food. The Wolseley did not disappoint although I'd have to say that I've had better chocolate brioches elsewhere. Their version was a little dense and cold when it was served at the table.

Double Chocolat Brioche

 French Toast with Bacon
The savouries fared better. R's French Toast with Bacon was absolutely delicious. The bacon which wasn't overfried or too salty contrasted well with the sweetness from the maple syrup. I would have loved to have a whole portion to myself if not for the fact that I was so enamored by my own dish.

 Salt Beef Hash with Fried Egg

I have memories of having excellent corn beef and hash when I visited my brother in the US. So when I saw this dish on the menu, I had to have it. Of course, the mention of 'egg' on the menu sealed the deal for me as well. What arrived at the table was a beautiful and simple dish that tasted sophisticated. The salt beef which they had likely cured themselves and the gravy it was sitting on was delicious and flavourful. 

The one thing that I regretted not ordering was the Kedgeree which is a dish that consists of ingredients such flaked fish, boiled eggs, rice and curry powder. The bright yellow dish topped with a nicely poached egg with the runny yolk which the table behind me was having, looked so enticing but I only had space for one dish regretfully.

So it's back to dining at regular cafes in the morning for now since it's unlikely I'll find a breakfast place with the same type of atmosphere which The Wolseley had. I'll still enjoy my breakfasts wherever I go but one thing for sure is that it'd probably take a lot for me to wake up at 6.30 in the morning to make a 7.45 booking if it isn't going to be at The Wolseley.

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