The London Review of Breakfasts

"Dedalus, come down, like a good mosey. Breakfast is ready. Haines is apologising for waking us last night. It's all right." (Buck Mulligan)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Quality Chop House, Farringdon

The Quality Chop House
92-94 Farringdon Road
Farringdon
EC1R

by Herby Banger

Like missionaries on a strange quest we danced our way through the morning traffic to meet inside the Quality Chop House. There was something of a devilish glint in the eyes of Hashley and Malcolm as I shuffled in next to them on one of the old oak pews that adorn the place, for this was a breakfast we had anticipated for some time with much excitement.

The QCH is one of the last remaining examples of the working class chophouses of the late nineteenth century. Designed and built by one Roland Plumbe, its character and features have rightly been listed by English Heritage.

Although the menu contained many fine options, it was clear from the outset that the fear of missing out on something truly spectacular meant that all three of us would opt for the 'St. George’s Breakfast', a gargantuan feast containing two free range eggs, grilled lamb chop, calves liver, black pudding, back bacon, sausage, mushroom and tomato. A breakfast to contemplate, much less eat, simply staring at it filled me with pleasure. It sat there gloriously, a war cry to the senses.

Devouring was a big task, but as the name suggested, everything here was of the utmost quality. The eggs burst in a golden yellowy thunder, so ripe that they could be mistaken for fruit. The sausage coarse and muscular, unfettered by the touch of machinery. Liver so tender and pure, as if from a special breed of Himalayan cow. Mushroom delicate and tasty. Even the tomato, my least favourite breakfasting ingredient, was sumptuous.

In every great battle, sacrifices have to be made, and here it is the princely sum of £17.50 that must be liberated from the purse strings. A price worth paying? Maybe, but not every week.

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