Mon P'tit Chou, East Dulwich
53 Lordship Lane
020 7564 3800
by Malcolm Eggs
Hello, my little cabbage. Sit down for a moment: I want to tell you a story. Well, alright it’s not exactly a story - it’s a breakfast review, and is lacking much in the way of plot and character.
Ten years ago I found myself at the opening event for Mon P’tit Chou. We stood on a small raised area, drinking champagne and crunching on bruschetta and it all seemed very exciting, this suave chamber of Gallicism wedged between the optician and the kebab shop.
These days it’s still out of place, but that’s because the bread basket contains mere baguettes, which is plain retro on a high street that offers so many £3 artisan sourdoughs that if you bought them all and placed them end to end they’d stretch from here to the Moon. By Moon I mean the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, but you see my point. The tabletops are all embedded with black and white photographs of New York reminiscent of the 'arty' section of a Hallmark outlet, which also feels retro but in a way that harks back to a past that, when you think about it, never actually existed.
My old friend Martha and I each ordered the smaller version of Mon P’tit Chou’s full English. It exemplified the “one of each” or “all the talents” approach and was £5.95. The sausage – compact, hot, vivid - was best; the rasher of bacon and ample beans were no-fuss but cooked with, well, decency; the eggs were available any way we liked as long as we liked them scrambled and overdone.
It was a nice, normal breakfast, substantial yet completely ephemeral - like a Sebastian Faulks novel. We ordered some smoothies and then nothing else interesting happened, which is where we feel glad that I said very early on that this isn't a story.