Try as I might, I’ve found it’s ridiculously difficult to avoid that popular made up meal time sandwiched between breakfast and lunch if you want to maintain any semblance of a social life. While I am generally not a fan of brunch, with a few exceptions here and there, it seems I am in the minority… well amongst my friends anyway. The girls like to gossip over brunch and since I do actually want to hang out with my lovely lady friends… off to brunch I must go!
Luckily for me, London has a million and one brunch options and some of them don’t just involve avocado and eggs – that’s right folks, you don’t always have to endure yolk-porn at that time of the day. So how did I brunch instead? Peruvian-style, that’s how. Imagine pancakes, porridge type dishes, and ceviche… ok, perhaps the ceviche is a stretch for some but I could eat that stuff anytime of the day! And if you dilly dally for another hour or so, we slide into lunch time and then anything goes…
Lima Floral, Covent Garden
Lima Floral offers two different three course brunch menus: the Andean Breakfast or the Long Lunch – we opted for the first, smaller option but still came away well sated! There was a refreshing quinoa porridge with fruit and honey to start, followed by the mains of potato pancakes, suckling pig brioche bun, and an egg frittata, before ending on a sweet note with an Amazonian chocolate mousse, alfajores, and dulce de leche.
A couple of items such as the suckling pig brioche and frittata missed the mark – one being too dry, the other too wet, but there were some strong showings too such as the moreish porridge and the decadent mousse! Overall, this is an exceptionally priced brunch given the amount of food and the quality… definitely enough left in the wallet to wander the nearby Covent Garden shops with!
Mommi, Clapham North
There’s a lot to choose from at Mommi so if you’re not quite ready to brunch outside of your comfort zone, this is the place to come. Alongside their Peruvian offerings of purple potato pancakes with blueberries, plantain and quinoa, or the fresh ceviches, they’ve also got the usual brunch suspects such as bacon, beans, and toast!
Their pancakes and frittatas might sound a little odd with elements such as yuzu soy mushrooms and purple potatoes but they really are moreish. I also enjoyed the confit duck leg with polenta, plantain and a soft boiled egg, and being a raw fish fan, I thought their sea bass ceviche was delicious.
Technically they serve lunch, but during the weekends meals can all merge together can’t they? My first impression of Pachamama was just how stunning the dining room is; light and airy and ideal for a day time natter but also cosy enough for those evening cocktails followed by dinner! The menu is strictly Peruvian with several ceviches as well as chicken anticuchos and pork chicharrones; this is perhaps not the place to come if some of your party are seeking the traditional.
We enjoyed some crispy fried chicken and the inevitable sea bass ceviche, along with some other meaty bits and pieces but the highlights were the brown crab and yuca churros and surprisingly for me, the aubergine with smoked yoghurt and pecans. The churros were a revelation – I’d only ever eaten sweet versions so a savoury dish was quite the novelty, in a good way. The cocktails are worth trying too as you’ll probably be there after midday and therefore it’s acceptable to have a drink!
So there you have it… it wasn’t all a rouse, brunch options that don’t revolve around avo and eggs do exist. Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest just enough to make you brunch outside the box, Peruvian-style!
But if not, I know you all have loads of brunch recommendations so hit me with them and try convince me that brunch is not the enemy.