The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Elk in the Woods, Islington

The Elk in the Woods
37 Camden Passage
N1 8EA
020 7226 3535

by Ed Benedict

It was a Saturday morning: the Elk in the Woods was very busy and the music was inexcusably loud (and bad). The breakfast menu was limited but acceptable, containing a full English, a full Veggie (both £6.95) and, for some reason, perhaps to cater for all those Islington 'bohos', two slices of coconut bread (£3).

My expectations were high. The place seemed sophisticated and expensive and the clientele were clearly of the wealthy middle-class media variety. I ordered the full Veggie and asked for no grilled tomatoes or corn on the cob (too much effort to eat first thing in the morning), plus extra mushrooms. I also made clear my extreme aversion to runny yolk and asked for my fried eggs to be VERY well done. The waiter nodded enthusiastically. However, when my breakfast arrived, the yolk was clearly wobbling and when, in the forensic spirit, I pierced it with my fork, there was no denying it: the yolk positively gushed. I asked the waiter if the eggs could be cooked a bit more and twenty minutes later my breakfast reappeared. The eggs were well-done, if not a little incinerated.

You’d think in those twenty minutes they’d have had the time to toast the bread on both sides - but one side was lightly toasted and the other looked as though it had accidently been dropped on a grill and then quickly thrown on the plate in mortal fear of toasting it properly. The Veggie sausages were of the 'Birds Eye' variety and the peas and potato were mushed together into a sausage shape, but were actually surprisingly tasty. I couldn’t justify sitting around reading the papers as people were hovering around, coveting our table. And besides, there’s only so much Jamiroquai I can handle.


Anonymous Highbury Will said...

No one's posted a comment since 2005? Well I can tell you, not a lot has changed. Went recently on a not very busy mid week day. I was ignored by the chap hovering around in charge, who clearly saw me walk in and sit down. I thought I'd wait to see how long it would be before he or his colleague came over to give me a menu, but I gave up after 5 minutes and had to go up to him and get one. No "oh, sorry" or anything similar. Food arrived quickly thereafter (bizarrely quickly). I had some variety of pancakes which to be fair were very tasty. But my initial reception had left a sour taste. I can sort of understand such service if they were busy - but it was practically empty. I paid and left. Back to Kipferl across the street from now on.

3:11 PM, August 11, 2011  

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