Book Club, Shoreditch
100-106 Leonard Street
020 7684 8618
by Gregg E. Bread and Moose Lee
Good morning breakfast fans! Good morning ping pong fans! Today, at long last, we witness the bringing together of these two glorious pastimes.
With the blue bat, drinking a passable latte, hailing from way down south of the river, the two-time ping-pong champion of London Fields, Gregg ‘The Eggs-ecutioner’ Bread.
With the red bat, drinking a nigh-on perfect if overpriced tea, the undisputed bantamweight of Welsh table tennis: Moose ‘The Metabolism’ Lee.
It’s a rainy morning here in Shoreditch. We’re in the Book Club, formerly known as Home Bar, now refurbished to include a full-size ping-pong table amidst the exposed brick and photo-art.
Ding ding! We’re off, and both players order French toast with bananas and strawberries drizzled in maple syrup. Before the food arrives, they step up to the ping-pong plate. Honours are even (1-1) as the first course arrives: the ‘Metabolism’ shows good early form, mopping the nicely crunchy eggy bread and snarfling it before his opponent has time to chew. The Eggs-ecutioner makes a considered start, lingering over the ripe banana and saving the last sumptuous strawberry for the strongest possible final mouthful. Nothing can separate these two.
Our contestants are still hungry and signal to the referee for a shared Full English in the hope of breaking the deadlock. Back on the bigger table, slightly impeded by their sticky fingers, these giants of breakfast-ping-pong are still gut and gut. 2-2.
The Full English arrives and the rivals touch cutlery. Moose is almost defeated by the inhumanly big – and judging by his expression – distinctly average sausages. He doesn’t fare much better with the button mushrooms which – as this replay shows – are watery and tasteless. Gregg E Bread sets about the scrummy toast with a series of aggressive chomps before the fried egg checks his progress with its peculiar and disappointing underside.
Moose comes alive on tasting the bacon, making an elongated ‘mmmm’ sound – his trademark. Gregg E Bread replies with a cute combination of the cherry tomatoes - but wait a minute he seems to be signalling to the bench that they are cold and uncooked.
The knives and forks are down as the valiant eaters, now sluggish and glazed-eyed, return to the ping-pong table for the finale. The crowd, a lone woman on a laptop, witness a gargantuan tussle that leaves Gregg E Bread to lick the commemorative plate as he triumphs 3-2. No matter the result, it is clear that the real winner here is the sport of Breakfast-Ping-Pong which has, finally, found a permanent home in East London.