The Elk in the Woods, Islington
37 Camden Passage
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.