Whoever invented brunch is my kind of person; that woman (or man) really understood the meaning of ‘weekend’. They knew that Saturday and Sunday mornings are for sleeping in and lazing about; sometimes nursing the hangover from the night before, other times just procrastinating and avoiding those pesky chores. They knew that by the time you’ve managed to get out of bed and make yourself look respectable you’re actually pretty hungry. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you’re rather starving. The thought of the weekday status quo of cereal or marmite (New Zealand, of course) on Vogels just doesn’t hit the right notes… you need something more, after all it is almost lunch time. And that’s where brunch comes in; you basically only need two meals in the weekend, and this is one of them.
Like the rest of the weekend, brunch is best savoured slowly. It’s the perfect time to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in ages, something which happens too easily in London, and share those dating disaster stories or tube rage rants. London has a plethora of great brunch places, but last weekend I decided to try something brand spanking new- Le Bun’s ‘Le Brunch’, as part of their month-long residency at Old Bengal Warehouse near Liverpool Street.
I’ve heard loads of great things about Le Bun, a French-American duo who apparently whip up some darn tasty burgers with a twist. Their concept is to change the way people perceive French food, taking it from the starched white tablecloths to the street. Quite literally. Le Bun has been taking the street food scene by storm, being very popular at Dalston’s Street Feast, and Riverside Feast at Battersea Power Station. Now, like many successful food trucks or stalls before them, they are moving one step closer to bricks and mortar, but still serving all their stand out dishes.
I know their signature dish is the Le Bourguignon Bun- slow cooked short ribs with truffle mayo and champagne slaw, but I really couldn’t resist the Le Duck Frites Bun of confit duck, champagne slaw and béarnaise spread. It was messy but the duck was rich, the sauce was oozy, and the brioche bun was oh-so-light; definitely worth the sticky fingers afterwards. If a burger doesn’t take your fancy for brunch (are you mad?) there are other non-bun options like Le Bisque Mac- a french take on mac and cheese, or another American inspired option- Truffles ’n’ Waffle, a decadent dish of fried chicken with shaved truffles.
The French-American theme does not end with the food- make sure you peruse the cocktail menu for some interesting concoctions, some more familiar than others. I thoroughly enjoyed the Noir a Paris and the Le New York Sour Twist, but I will confess, it was partly due to the small rush of feeling slightly illicit drinking a cocktail before 12pm! Though in my defence, you know as well as I do that brunch is best served with some booze.
The excellent food and drinks coupled with the lovely outdoor setting of the Old Bengal Warehouse made for a very enjoyable brunch experience- one which I would happily revisit. However, time is ticking- Le Brunch is only served on weekends in October!
Le Bun at Old Bengal Warehouse, 16 New Street, London EC2M 4TR, serving brunch 11am-4pm.