The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, April 11, 2008

Le Chandelier, East Dulwich

Le Chandelier
161 Lordship Lane
East Dulwich
SE22 8HX
020 8299 3344

by Malcolm Eggs

"Would you like your bacon soft or crispy?"

The waitress at Le Chandelier has just asked me this question and it sets me thinking. What if I meet a genie today and he instructs me that I must decide whether to give up bacon or steak for the rest of my life? I don’t think I would hesitate. I love that "to hell with sausage and mash, to hell with barbary duck" moment when I order steak. But lose bacon? It'd never work. When I was younger, I‘d take an eight-rasher pack and grill it all for a single sandwich. No sauce; sometimes not even an egg. I would miss steak, but wouldn't pine for it, not in the same way. But then... What if the little genie – he looks like a tiny, green-haired Peter Kay – is tricking me, and actually I have just expunged juicy steak only to get soft bacon for all my living days? Cruel, cheeky genie. Crispy and soft are completely different foods, far less alike than rare and well-done steak. Which brings me full circle to:

"Crispy."

Her question - so welcome, so criminally rare – renders me unable to criticise anything. The tinny music emanating from the kitchen is endearing. The unbuttered toast is better that way. The scrambled eggs are perfect. The décor is flawless. The toilet is well signposted. And to be fair, in general, it is lovely. Mabel Syrup’s eggs benedict is wonderful and generous, the eggs poached to perfection and the hollandaise finished off with an interesting method involving grilling the top until it browns slightly. It works well. My bacon and scrambled eggs aren’t going to win any major awards, but they are just fine. And the cakes and loaves of bread stacked up at the counter look incredible.

We emerge into the winter and get into the car. I resolve to eat steak the next time I get the chance – it being prudent to make the most of it, just in case.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what is so werid i hate my bacon soft and its nice if somebody ask me how i do prefer my bacon cooked because i think that my bacon will be cooked the way i liked it so .......... thank u my waitress to ask me how i liked my bacon love u

11:58 PM, May 01, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was innitially a little put off by the frilly-style deco, what with all the chandeliers (I know, I know.. what did I expect!), as I am not much of a girly girl.. But inside was lovely and airy and the chandelier frills were actuallu pleasingly camp! And I loved all the beat up, regal old sofas too.

My eggs royal on sourdough was simply sublime. Perfectly poached eggs, and soft slightly smokey, buttery salmon with just the right amount of homemade holindaise. The sourdough bread was perfect, adding that sour edge to cut through all the creamy flavours. The service was great and the atmosphere pleasent indeed.

As someone who makes a big deal of making breakfasts at the weekend, I am often disappointed when eating this meal out. Nothing disapointed me in Le Chandelier today!

And well done on this blog. It is a god-send for all those who, like myself, are mildly breakfast-obsessed!

3:32 PM, August 10, 2008  
Blogger Lorraine Liyanage said...

I had a bacon sandwich here which cost about 5 or 6 pounds. The slice of bread (I think it was soda bread) was about the size of the palm of my hand. It was miniscule! I felt cheated! Although the bacon was crispy and tasty as requested. But for the price, it's a joke!

9:47 AM, September 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please can post opening times on your Bfast reviews. It is just gutting to show up for breakfast and find out the cafe is not open til 10am!

12:06 AM, March 29, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We tried to breakfast here today; we left home at 9 to drive to London to attend a christening and rang ahead to query whether Le Chandeliers could fit us in for breakfast at 11with the proviso that we had to leave at 11.50 to get to church for 12. We arrived with our three hungry children, to be warned that there was no guarantee we would be finished in time, but assured that it was probable if we ordered eggs as they were quick to cook. We sat, and ordered instantly.
Then we waited.
30 mins later the coffee and orange juices arrived.
We were advised that the waitress would ask the chef to slip our order out ASAP (it was 11.35).
We waited.
At 11.45 we were advised that the chef would not start cooking our scrambled eggs until after 12. We were offered the last few cold croissants.
We waited for them, for 5 mins, gobbled them fast and ran up the road to church past half a dozen alternative breakfast places still hungry and very disappointed.
Live and learn.

8:01 PM, June 22, 2014  

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