Foxcroft & Ginger, Whitechapel
Having worked in Soho for years, I'm frankly ashamed I've never darkened the door of Foxcroft & Ginger before. It's not like it's hard to miss with its jazzy signage, but miss it I did.
Oh! The sumptuous breakfasts I could have scoffed and the artisanal coffees that could have rescued me from hangover doom if I'd only have crawled over to Berwick Street. It's ok though because fortunately for me there is a brand spanking new branch in Whitechapel of all places (it's trying very very hard to come up) and they kindly invited me to come and see what I thought.
What did I think? I thought it was very cool and very of its time interior wise with a really great looking array of baked goods. And I thought that it was one of the best brunch menus I have seen. I brunch a lot (look how much I droned on about hollandaise here) and yet there were genuinely innovative and exciting things to be had here; I'm looking at you French toast with ham, bechamel and honey mustard; and the ricotta gnocchi with tomato fondue, kale and egg deserves an honourable mention too. The lovely PR ladies provided this pic of the French toast, apparently an unsurprising bestseller.
But I'd come for one dish in particular: eggs sous vide. Yes, Masterchef and Fine Dining lovers, that is to say F&G are lovingly coddling eggs in exactly 63C water for one hour to deliver the perfect poached egg. I wanted some, badly. These alone are enough to have me merrily trotting over to the wilds of Whitechapel on a cold Sunday morning, but placed atop an English muffin groaning under the weight of some tenderly pulled pork and then covered in hollandaise? Well. They are in the title shot, but in more detail below:
I'm a fusspot about eggs as I hate the white but go gaga for yolk, so believe me when I say that these eggs are perfection. They are soft, yielding and with enough of a wobble that you know these aren't just your big standard poached egg. Wash down with an extraordinarily powerful double espresso and a Sunday morning mimosa and you've got a winning combo.
Look how pleased I am about eating it.
No food envy from Rich though, as he had wisely ordered the herbed mushrooms with truffled hollandaise and egg on their much-lauded sourdough. I nabbed a bit in the name of research and can happily report it to be a thoroughly rich but well balanced plateful thanks to a light touch with the truffle, just giving the mushrooms an earthy oomph. The micro herbs were a nice addition too.
Well done F&G, we were tres impressed. I'd be willing to bet that your sticky duck burger and sourdough pizza with goats cheese, fig and kale pesto is well worth a punt of a weekday, and I only just resisted ordering the kasundi side (a spicy Indian kind of babaganoush I think) due to the potential curdle factor with the hollandaise, but next time won't be so easy.
This splendid breaking of the fast came in at just over £30. On this occasion it was very generously on the house, but now the secret is out I'll be in and out of the Soho one to sample their house pastries like they're going out of fashion.