The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, August 11, 2006

Leon, Spitalfields

3 Crispin Place
020 7247 4369

by Malcolm Eggs

On a lukewarm Friday morning in August I'm standing in the Leon bathroom, whose decorative theme is family holiday photos, and I'm wiping yolk from my shirt and chest. Some of the children in the photos remind me of me. I imagine the me then looking out at the me now (I have drunk too much coffee and I am picking pieces of egg out of my hair) and I conclude that the me then wouldn't be impatient to grow older.

A minute ago, on my way to the bathroom, I told the waiter about my egg, which had exploded with a big 'CRACK' when I cut into it, hurling its contents all over me, Cathy and the restaurant window: it would have been churlish to waste such a unique complaining opportunity. But I felt both disappointed and disturbed by his reaction, which was apologetic, but not particularly surprised.

I return from the bathroom to our table outside. He approaches us with a refund, a round of free drinks, a handful of tokens for more free drinks and an attempted explanation, which consists of two assertions. Firstly, that they had forgotten the chef's birthday. Secondly, that this chef did not rinse the eggs in cold water before peeling them (as part of the 'I Heart England' breakfast they come 'boiled').

Apart from the terrorist egg, the breakfast is fine: the bacon fun and streaky, the portobello mushroom and tomatoes done properly, the toast a bit raw but allowable. It all seems quite boring. I am struck by a wish to see the rest of it detonate, or perhaps turn into flying lizards, so we can see what other assertions the unflappable waiter has concealed up his sleeve.


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