The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Empress of India, Victoria Park

The Empress of India
130 Lauriston Rd
Victoria Park
E9 7LH
020 85335123

by Blake Pudding

I’m currently researching smoked fish for the forthcoming LRB book (available in all good bookshops and hopefully supermarkets some time in 2011) and have been forbidden from eating a proper cooked breakfast. So at the Empress I ordered the kipper with a poached egg but cleverly persuaded my girlfriend to have the full English so that I could have her black pudding. Our breakfasts arrived and after some juggling to fit the over-sized crockery onto the absurdly small tables we started to eat. A couple of mouthfuls in the future Mrs Pudding noted that her plate did not have any black pudding on it. We called over the waitress and she went away to investigate.

She came back and casually said that the all the black pudding had been thrown away. I was a bit taken aback by this but was distracted by the enormous plate of bacon she brought over to compensate. This waitress obviously knew me.

After scoffing the lot, I pondered Columbo-like why they had binned everything. Hmmmmm. I marshalled my deductive powers, examined the evidence and then it came to me: everything was cooked in advance and not that recently either. Of course! Why and that would explain the generally poor state of all the food. It was like breakfast at a down-market hotel. The bacon was swimming in grease, my kipper was dense with dirty butter, the beans were in a ramekin with a congealed crust and the hash brown was soggy and lukewarm. It was a shame as all the ingredients were good quality; the eggs were freshly prepared and delicious. The Empress of India stops serving breakfast at noon. We arrived at quarter to twelve. If we had arrived at ten we may have had a breakfast worth the money. We may even have had some black pudding.


Anonymous Shreddie Kruger said...

How disappointing. Maybe next time turn up at the exact time they open. If we follow the logic through, the breakfast whould be close to Ambrosial.

12:15 PM, August 27, 2009  
Anonymous Hashley Brown said...

What a shame to throw away all that good pudding. Tut tut.

3:29 PM, August 29, 2009  
Anonymous Joyce Carole Oats said...

The quality of one's breakfast should never depend on one's ability to rise early. Blasphemy!

8:41 AM, September 03, 2009  
Anonymous Disgruntled Diner said...

I went to the Empress for lunch last weekend and was not impressed with the quality of food at all. So much potential... so much grease. Yuck.

11:45 AM, November 13, 2009  

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