Mr Christian's, Islington
20 Camden Passage
020 7359 4103
by Vita Bicks
Following a biblically overindulgent Saturday night, our Sunday breakfasting requirements were high. Happily, Islington offers the jaded celebrant a plethora of breakfasting venues of the sun-dried, knit-your-own-yoghurt variety. In a spirit of recklessness induced by lack of sleep, we threw parsimony to the wind and plumped for Mr Christian’s.
Mr C’s is primarily a delicatessen, and a very good one, selling fresh bread of every conceivable variety, a smorgasbord of toothsome cheeses and chocolate brownies of surpassing excellence. How could they go wrong with breakfast?
The answer, it transpired, was comprehensively. It took 40 minutes for our breakfasts to arrive, despite there only being about eight other diners. Fifteen minutes in, the waitress informed me that the Eggs Benedict were unavailable, the chef having “run out of hollandaise” (make some more, man!). Five minutes later, she was back again to tell me that my second choice of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a muffin was no-go as they were out of muffins - would toast do? In the event, the only thing that arrived promptly was the (substantial) bill.
This I could have overlooked, were the food itself not so profoundly, gobsmackingly terrible. The radioactively pink salmon was flavourless; the toast unbuttered and hilariously underdone. The egg was a fiesta of awfulness: it tasted of water, and ranged in consistency from runny mucus to a fist-sized lump I could balance on my fork. Mr Bicks’s eggs were, admittedly, perfectly poached, but his asparagus was tough and his bacon inedibly salty. My apple juice was vile; his tea stewed. Would that this unforgivable breakfast could fade from my memory as quickly as the hangover that unwittingly gave rise to it. We’d have been better off staying in bed with a bowl of Special K and a couple of paracetamol.