This will be the last time I write about the St Johns. “Last” as in until they do something new again…and I am finishing it off with the breakfast.
Fully English.. not Full English. No mayhem of sausages, bacons, eggs, baked beans, or things like that. Just an extensive menu of sustained creativity. No Eggs Benedict, no soldiers, no.. no.. of many things you readers start to doubt what’s so English about it.
St John does buns – breakfast (£7.50) and afternoon. The breakfast ones. Fluffed with butter. Calories, eh!!!!! There comes a basket of three: cinnamon, raisin and the other smaller one I wasn’t so sure what it was. The first two were light, with a touch of sweetness and a good balance overall. The smaller bun – lemon-y in appearance – was heavier and did not scream much flavour.
The anatomy of the buns…
Cinnamon.. gently spiced, glossy caramelised crust, almost croissant-like texture.
Raisin..very similar texture to the cinnamon, plump raisin bombs.
The one I knew not what…the crustiest of all. Went well with the preserve: marmalade, rhubarb vanilla, and Regent’s Park honey.
The cooked dishes. Torn between Potted Kippers, Potato & Egg (£8.50), Devilled Kidney on Toast (£11.50) and Pig Cheek, Broad Beans & Berkswell Omelette (£7.50) but ended up with the omelette. Decently rolled with finely grated Berkswell on top. Quite cooked inside – almost like a loose Tamago. Strong bean-y taste and pork only on one side. A little disappointed.
My other bib was in luck. Ham, Eggs, Fried Bread (£12.50) – the most expensive cooked dish – was gorgeous. I shouldn’t have gone for the cheapest dish -__-”!!
Brilliantly charred ham. Superb quality. Lightly salted. He asked for sunny side up eggs and there they are..
The dish was so big he gave me two bites (while refusing to taste my omelette).
It was good. Differently English. You won’t miss out much snoozing the alarm, though. Personally I still think The Wolseley is the best at high end breakfast, but the menu is a crowd pleaser, not pushing boats out. Roast at Borough Market and Mother Mash in Carnaby Street are also traditionally decent.
Another good English breakfast I came across was at Albion at the Boundary Project. Again, not the most daring and featuring many egg dishes. Kippers and kidneys were on the menu, too. That said, my breakfast there was substantial and half the price of St John.
Amazing scrambled eggs in my Albion Breakfast (£10) and a supersized Granola, Fruit, Yogurt (£6.25).
The streaky bacons – you can choose back or streaky – were commendably crispy.
And their toasted breakfast buns… good, a universe away from St John – not only by taste but also by its price tag.
The cheese rolls that had just come out of the kitchen.. too stuffed to get one, sadly.
My head rating for St John and Albion breakfast says, “7 and 7 out of 10″.
My heart rating says, “8 and 6 out of 10″.
ALBION AT THE BOUNDARY PROJECT
2-4 Boundary Street
Tel. 020 7279 1051
ST JOHN HOTEL
1-2 Leicester Street
Tel. 020 3301 8096