The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mr Christian's, Islington


Mr Christian’s
20 Camden Passage
020 7359 4103

by Vita Bicks

Following a biblically overindulgent Saturday night, our Sunday breakfasting requirements were high. Happily, Islington offers the jaded celebrant a plethora of breakfasting venues of the sun-dried, knit-your-own-yoghurt variety. In a spirit of recklessness induced by lack of sleep, we threw parsimony to the wind and plumped for Mr Christian’s.

Mr C’s is primarily a delicatessen, and a very good one, selling fresh bread of every conceivable variety, a smorgasbord of toothsome cheeses and chocolate brownies of surpassing excellence. How could they go wrong with breakfast?

The answer, it transpired, was comprehensively. It took 40 minutes for our breakfasts to arrive, despite there only being about eight other diners. Fifteen minutes in, the waitress informed me that the Eggs Benedict were unavailable, the chef having “run out of hollandaise” (make some more, man!). Five minutes later, she was back again to tell me that my second choice of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a muffin was no-go as they were out of muffins - would toast do? In the event, the only thing that arrived promptly was the (substantial) bill.

This I could have overlooked, were the food itself not so profoundly, gobsmackingly terrible. The radioactively pink salmon was flavourless; the toast unbuttered and hilariously underdone. The egg was a fiesta of awfulness: it tasted of water, and ranged in consistency from runny mucus to a fist-sized lump I could balance on my fork. Mr Bicks’s eggs were, admittedly, perfectly poached, but his asparagus was tough and his bacon inedibly salty. My apple juice was vile; his tea stewed. Would that this unforgivable breakfast could fade from my memory as quickly as the hangover that unwittingly gave rise to it. We’d have been better off staying in bed with a bowl of Special K and a couple of paracetamol.


Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

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10:46 PM, August 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Horrible breakfast. Someone told me it has since improved because they got rid of the chef. I have little faith it has. Stick to what you know Mr Christians!

9:07 AM, September 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having previously been of a mind to agree with your review, I must now point out that the breakfast at Mr Christians has vastly improved (apparentely there's 2 new chefs), and more staff. I only say this because I live in Islington and it's important to support smaller local businesses, or it'll all be McStarbucks. If we want to complain we should do it at source, not sit online bitching. That way they might improve, as personally I think they have done!

2:34 PM, October 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the previous comment, I whole-heartedly agree with supporting small shops and businesses but when I complained about my brunch in Mr Christian's(and yes, some of it was actually inedible, I was offered nothing. Not a replacement meal or monatary compensation. I prefer the Elk opposite now.

1:06 AM, November 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Christian's never really improved that much and now it is no more. They were pretty poor at knocking up lunch, sandwiches or any other food, too. The Breakfast Club on the other side of Camden Passage is a good spot though.

8:40 AM, November 10, 2007  

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