25 August 2013

Bank Holiday Brunch (Hangover Optional): The Hangover Club Review

The winning streak of sunny bank-holiday weekends couldn't last, and so of course it was rainy when I woke up yesterday morning. The SoLoDo RC still managed to get a run in, though, because we had to build up an appetite for brunch. The Skyroom in Tooley Street plays host to a dizzying array of eating and drinking experiences organised by Platterform, and on Saturdays from 11 am until 3 pm, it's brunch o'clock, courtesy of The Good Egg's Hangover Club residency.

You don't actually have to have a hangover, of course, and they offer retox as well as detox options. Oh, and Alka-Seltzer.

You need to book in advance via the Hangover Club website, and choose whether you want the 11 am to 1 pm or the 1 to 3 pm sitting. You pay £8 per person in advance, which entitles you to one brunchy main dish, although drinks and any extra food are not included. This makes it a little complicated at bill time, if one person has paid in advance for everyone else's food, but because The Hangover Club only happens once a week, I guess it helps them to make sure they are fully but not overly stocked.

We were a little nervous about the wet-weather facilities given the rooftop location of The Skyroom, but luckily the seating area is completely covered (well, save the odd drip or two), and decorated quirkily with random bird cages, lampshades and a fake grassy floor. It's definitely a cool spot, five storeys above the hustle and bustle of Tooley Street.

On to the brunch. There is an impressive selection of cocktails, as well as juices and smoothies for those not yet ready for the hair of the dog. You don't have to have a bloody mary, but you probably should. I ordered a Bloody Berber — a sort of Moroccan bloody mary with saffron gin, lemon, harissa and mint. It was delicious: peppery, fragrant and very invigorating. If I had had the capacity for a second cocktail, I would have tried the Bacon 'n' Eggs, with bacon-fat-washed bourbon, amontillado sherry, lemon, sugar, egg white and a crispy bacon rasher. I'm not sure whether I would have liked it, but it would have been nice to try, especially as the brunch menu was surprisingly devoid of bacon. Instead, I was good and had a blueberry and strawberry smoothie, which was tasty and made up for the lack of puddings on the menu.

For my main course, I ordered the breakfast burrito, which came stuffed with egg, chorizo, cheese, potato, beans, guacamole and salsa. It was really, really good. Definitely the best breakfast burrito I've had in London, and almost as good as Daddy Donkey's Daddy D on the overall burrito steaks stakes.

One of our friend's friend wasn't able to come, but as we'd already paid for his main course, we all shared the shakshuka — another Moroccan-influenced menu item, which involved poached eggs, a spicy tomato sauce and merguez sausages with sourdough. The shakshuka was good too, although I'm glad I had the burrito as my main course.

The service was a little slow — we were starving by the time the food arrived, especially after our morning run — and my friends mourned the absence of salt and pepper, but I thought the food and drink was great and that it was a really fun bank-holiday-weekend brunch experience. It wasn't as though we were in a rush, either.

The leftovers — or lack thereof.

I'm now keen to go back to one of the other Skyroom experiences — Village East's Sky Canteen, which they are running while their Bermondsey Street restaurant is being refurbished, sounds particularly good.

The Good Egg's Hangover Club Brunch. 5th Floor, Magdalen House, 146 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU (Tube: London Bridge). Websites: The Good Egg; The Hangover Club; Platterform.

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