Rossi Restaurant, Spitalfields
8 Hanbury St
by Malcolm Eggs
Spitalfields is where the glass and steel environs of the City give way to the history and character of old working London, the bustle of the Bangladeshi community and the four thousand haircuts of a thousand aspiring creatives. The corner of Commercial and Hanbury Streets is the recreational hub of the local artistic community: for ales you have the Golden Heart, the pub beloved of Tracey Emin – and for the resulting breakfast you have Rossi, the Italian greasy spoon frequented by Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore aka Gilbert and George.
There are four set choices, none priced at more than £4.10. Number one is for the traditionalists, a perfectly weighted combo of sausage, bacon, beans, egg and toast. Number two introduces some bubble and squeak into the landscape at the expense of the beans. A number three is bacon, eggs, chips and toast. And a number four is one of those avant-garde combinations involving something to do with lamb chops.
We tried the one and the three. They were deeply splendid renditions of old classics, more Kleiber’s realisation of Beethoven's 5th than Gates’s version of Unchained Melody. The bacon was crispy and entirely without sweaty white fat and although the sausage was of the humble variety found in plastic-chaired establishments across the land, it fulfilled all the potential it had with gusto. The egg was over easy and immaculate: not a drop of yolk wasted, not a blob of white spared. The chips were excellent as were the beans, toast and tea: excellent - and hot.
Our plates soon lay empty. A warm, happy glow ensued. This was a breakfasting tour de force.