The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Book Club, Shoreditch

Book Club
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.


Anonymous gastrogeek said...


10:42 AM, December 08, 2009  
Anonymous Beth said...

I really hated this place, and I didn't even eat the food. They had 'freshly squeezed orange juice' for nearly £3 on the menu and then I saw them pour out Sunpride - the lowest of the low of concentrated fake juice.

Read my bile here:

12:34 PM, December 08, 2009  
Anonymous H. P. Wells said...

The girl and I were alone in The Book Club for much of our breakfast (we visited just before midday on a Saturday- surely peak time). A shame, because the portions are big and the ingredients tasty, despite the odd sausages. Certainly worth a visit.

12:24 PM, April 24, 2010  
Blogger Japonica said...

Had a particularly bad experience at this place during brunch with some friends. My food arrived late, some 10 minutes after my friends received theirs. I then found a strand of hair in my couscous salad. I took it back to the bar to complain. Was offered no apology, just a "we'll get you another one, ok?" Waited 10 minutes for replacement food to arrive. This dish also had hair in it. I'm not sure whether it was the old dish, being masqueraded as a freshly prepared one. We complained again. Was still offered no apology, just told that none of the kitchen staff have hair. Well - it wasn't my hair - so whose was it? Only when a friend and boyfriend raised complaints did the manager offer to refund our meal (at that point I did not want any food from this establishment), with the added comment, again, that all the kitchen staff have no hair. Will certainly not be visiting this place again.

7:08 PM, October 15, 2011  
Blogger Japonica said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:08 PM, October 15, 2011  

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