One thing I really hate about weekend brunch is that virtually all places have a no-reservations policy, which I think is so, so, so lame. Particularly if it’s a destination brunch (i.e. you travel out of your way specifically for brunch). I mean the last thing you want is to be turned away at the door, especially when you have woken up early and made the pilgrimage, in the anticipation of being rewarded with a good breakfast at your journey’s end… That’s one reason why I like this place – it allows you to book in advance!
Ok. To be fair, it’s not THAT inaccessible. You simply have to jubz it (which is Steph Speak for “take the Jubilee line”) up to St. John’s Wood, whereupon it’s a 5-7min walk from the station, through a scenic and peaceful neighborhood. It sits quietly on Blenheim Road, boasting a gorgeous veranda that is splendid yet unimposing, unquestionably the source of its name and also providing what I think is the whole point of the restaurant.
We were there shortly after 11 on a Saturday morning, so we were the first patrons, although strictly speaking it wasn’t really necessary to make any reservations since it never really got very busy. It does apparently get pretty popular in the summer time though, due in no small part to the lovely veranda I’m sure. It was bright and airy inside and I liked that the terrace had a glass roof and large glass doors, all clean and sparkling. I think it would be wonderful to sit in there even on a rainy day. Definitely top marks for ambience.
To be frank, brunch did not start out well. I wanted an iced coffee because, well, I wanted an iced coffee, and I don’t see why I have to explain myself since it was right there on the menu. But I was told that “We don’t have coffee.”, which is the strangest thing I ever did hear. The waiter did bring me a hot black coffee in the end though. Odd.
A managed to get her hot chocolate with no major mishaps.
I decided that I wanted the steak, eggs and chips because I really liked the thought of steak in the morning. Mm… But no. Nil. Nada. The waiter explained that they will only serve brunch on Sundays in the future – at the moment it’s available everyday except Monday – so I highly suggest you make a call next time before you visit just to be safe.
Thankfully, though, they did have all the other items on the menu.
This one is for all you healthy eaters out there. The egg whites were light and fluffy, and the flavors were kept clean and simple, with the classic combination of sharp, salty feta and wilted iron-rich spinach. It was alright, you know, if you like that sort of thing. I’ll probably never order it again myself. It’s not at all filling and doesn’t even come with toast. What sacrilege! It’s the kind of thing that a girly girl with swishy hair and a clear-skinned smile would order.
But I am a man’s man, and I need a manly meal to help me conquer the world. So I sooooooo wish I could have had that steak. :'(
But mercifully, the Eggs Ben more than made up for it. Much, much more than made up for it.
I have put away more Eggs Benny than I care to remember, so much so that it’s not really a dish that eggcitez me anymore. Until now. I’m willing to go out on a limb here and say that this was one of the most memorable renditions I’ve had in quite a while. The balance of flavors were perfect, and the eggs were cooked just right, without that disgusting vinegary taste that lingers on the poached eggs you get in some brunch places (some cooks add vinegar to the boiling water when poaching eggs because it helps ‘tighten’ up the egg). And I love hollandaise. So, so much. At this moment, looking at this picture, I want nothing more than to be a plump little poached egg, lounging around on my warm bacon-y sheets, hiding under my blanket of hollandaise… (Sort of doing that right now, really.)
And the customary shot of oozy orange yolk…
And those hashbrowns were amazeballz. I have come to the conclusion that anything in spherical form is automatically awesome. But seriously, they were so very good. Great surface area of crispness and fluffy potatoey innards.
The final dish was something I had really been looking forward to because it’s been making its rounds on the interwebz. It was actually the reason I suggested this place to A in the first place, as I know how much she likes her Oreos!
Did you guys know that Oreos are supposedly as addictive as cocaine? Just read this:
The research looked at the rats’ behaviors and the effects the cookies had on their brains. Rats were put into a maze and given the choice of hanging out near rice cakes or Oreos. The tasty sandwich cookies won that popularity contest handily. Those results were compared to a different test, where rats were given the choice of loitering in an area of a maze where they were injected with saline or in another corner where they could get a shot of cocaine or morphine.
The rats in the study liked the cookies about as much as they liked the drugs, congregating near the cookie side of the maze as much as they would on the drug side.
Read more: Oreos May Be As Addictive As Cocaine | TIME.com http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/10/16/oreos-may-be-as-addictive-as-cocaine/#ixzz2rSveH0Ut
Hmm. I don’t blame the rats. Oreos are so good.
Anyway, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I gathered a contingent of fat friends for a massive fried food fat fest at my place. We fried everything - from Oreos, Mars Bars and Twix, to slices of buttery pound cake and wedges of fridge-cold cheesecake. Seared into my memory forever is the fried magnum, the popsicle stick conveniently lending itself to easy conveyance from packet, to batter, to hot oil, and into open, waiting mouth. I have never been prouder of anything I have ever done. Oh, it was so very bad. It was so very good. And you know you know you know that if you only could, you so totally would. So don’t be judging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But yes, now that I have extensively built up your hopes and dreams, let me proceed to cruelly DASH them by telling you that these kind of fell short. They were okay, but were slightly soggy and deflated – kind of like my spirit, which, these days, resembles a wet diaper.
Would I come here again? Yes, I definitely would, especially for that Eggs Ben. I would probably wait until summer though. So! Far! Away! :( :( :( Ugh it’s been so ridiculously wet and rainy lately that I have had to wear my Hunters almost everyday. I’m officially class wellidictorian now (HAHAHA I’M SORRY I JUST COULDN’T HELP MYSELF!!!)
But let’s end on a good note, shall we?
‘What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?’ (John Steinbeck)
ONE BLENHEIM TERRACE
1 Blenheim Terrace, London, NW8 0EH
Closed on Mondays
Tues-Sat: 11AM to 10PM
Sun: 10AM to 4PM
*As I’ve said above, the waiter had mentioned that they will only be doing Sunday brunch from now on, so please do ask them about it before you go!