Cafe Floris, South Kensington
5b Harrington Rd
020 7589 3276
Bob El Ensquique
Although I could see the place was crammed, grey clouds and a hungry belly led me to try the Floris. After edging my way in I was swiftly escorted to the only available seat, on the same table as several other diners. To my right were American students nibbling on garlic bread topped with mozzarella cheese and to my left, business folk swilled cappuccinos and jabbered on BlackBerries.
Not long after ordering, my coffee arrived. It wasn't great. On my first sip I winced; it had a skin. Oh well, I let it slide.
Next, the vegetarian set was slid under my nose with a laboured smile. Although there was a tight precision to the way the knife and fork were wrapped in their napkin, the little plate was noticeably jumbled in its composition. In a classic case of plate-overpopulation the various fried foodstuffs appeared to be clambering over each other, eager for space - a bit like the Floris itself.
In I tucked. Untangling the sausage from a pile of chips revealed a member of the cylindrical potato-and-diced-veg variety, mechanical and flimsy to the fork; underseasoned and underwhelming.
The fried egg had been cooked sunny side up, but was served sunny side down. From my vantage point the yolk was totally eclipsed by the rubbery white. Taken alone, an upside-down egg, this situation would not normally be a concern. However, the upturned egg and its seeping yolk was served directly on top of a great slab of bubble and squeak. Lukewarm and now covered in sticky orange goo, the bubble lost its appeal.
Only the imposing mound of chips could save the dish, yet its resistance was broken by an incoming tide of tepid bean juice. With the various potato products facing a two-pronged yolk and bean sauce attack, a vegetarian bloodbath ensued. The passive aggressiveness of each breakfast component contrived to render the meal unapproachable and unfinished.
Afforded no toast to mop up the drowning debris, I abandoned ship, paid the £4.40 bill, and stepped back into the drizzly street to get on with my day.