Monday, 5 November 2012

Brunch at Workshop Coffee Co.

Workshop Coffee Co. (formerly St Ali) on Clerkenwell Road is one of a growing number of Antipodean-run cafes with a reputation for serving fantastic coffee. Having heard rumours that it also does a mean brunch, my boyfriend and I decided to go check it out last weekend.

The brunch menu is excellent - although perhaps leaning towards the pricey end of things - and features some innovative dishes which I will definitely be going back to try (such as the braised beans with salted ricotta, lemon and truffled marscapone - yum!).

There are a couple of decent healthy options too: apple bircher muesli with strawberries, labna, and pumpkin seeds sounds delicious; while mango, pineapple and strawberry fruit salad is sexed-up with the addition of minted yoghurt and granola. And for those with a sweet tooth, the toasted banana bread (with date and orange jam, expresso marscapone, and hazelnuts) or the french toast with rhubarb compote and orange marscapone would both make a welcome change from Danish pastries or pancakes.

This time, we both opted for the 'make your own'-style cooked breakfast. This consists of two eggs (poached, scrambled or fried) served with sourdough toast, tomato kasundi (a spicy Indian tomato relish), and a choice of sides from a selection ranging from from halloumi and chorizo to kipper and black pudding.

We both went for poached eggs and a portion of dry-cured bacon; I chose thyme-roasted mushrooms as an additional side, while my boyfriend ordered the grilled halloumi. Our eggs were perfectly poached (although with a residual vinegariness to the whites which was not altogether pleasant...), with sunset orange yolks that oozed seductively onto the thick wedges of buttered sourdough toast. The dry-cured bacon was sweet and smoky, pairing excellently with the tangy tomato ksundi, and my mushrooms (dark and glossy) had a lovely nutty flavour overlaid with a pleasant hint of thyme.

One stab with a fork and the yolk oooozed out onto the toast...mmmm

With service, the meal (eggs and toast, two sides each, one tea, one orange juice) came to £34 - so (as I mentioned above) it was pretty expensive. However, I suppose prices are pretty much in line with similar venues (such as the nearby Caravan) and the cool atmosphere (stripped back, warehouse chic) and good location means there are still queues out of the door if you arrive too late.

I drank tea alongside my breakfast, but as we were leaving decided to order a latte to go. It was genuinely one of the best coffees I've had in London (if not the best) - making Workshop Coffee Co. an ideal spot for coffee-lovers as well as foodies.

Tea? Don't be silly, get a coffee!

*With Lantana, Caravan, Flat White, and Kaffeine all serving up tasty cups of Joe 'down-under'-syle
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