With the arrival of autumn, you’d think weekend brunches were a thing of the past. With mornings drawing darker, the weather getting cooler and blank pages appearing in our social diaries, weekends are now for curling up on the sofa, dusting off the coffee machine and poorly poaching our own eggs. Right? Wrong. As it turns out, restaurants are up to all sorts of new tricks to keep brunch-addicts like me happy, and us Londoners aren’t ready to kick the habit just yet…
Luckily, things have changed in the capital this year – brunch used to be left to novice cooks who drew the short straw and believed they didn’t have the right to innovate beyond adding a shaving of horseradish to the Bloody Mary mix. But things are evolving in London, and much to our delight, there’s all sorts of exciting things happening in the kitchen to ensure Weekend brunching is here to say!
Crab Tavern is one of those places, who this month launched their ‘Loving Feeling’ Brunch in Broadgate Circle, specialising in, you guessed it – crab! Surrounded by big-name chains such as Franco Manca, Yauatcha and Aubaine, any new menu faces natural competition, but luckily for Crab Tavern these rivals haven’t upped their brunch game just yet, making this joint the rowdiest in the ring. Spread over two floors, Crab Tavern is sophisticated and chic, with wooden flooring, high tables and intimate booths scattering the interior. A large cartoon painting of smiling crab covers one wall, but the rest of the restaurant gives off a luxury Manhattan feel, with the lighting low and music loud.
For £45 you’re guaranteed ‘Unlimited Drinks, Fancy Food and Footloose and Fancy Free Music’, and there’s a huge selection of choices on offer. To start, brunchers are offered a ‘Tavern Sharer Starter’, a sea of delicious bite-size food which includes fried black pepper squid, pork belly ribs, dressed crab subs, crab and waffle bites, prawn cocktail and crispy whitebait. A sight for hungry eyes, the platter looks exotically exquisite and tastes fantastic. The mish-mash of flavours are deeply indulgent, washed down by a frothy sharer cocktail that comes served in a carved-out pineapple pierced by straws.
The drinks on offer here are definitely unconventional. Avoiding traditional brunch choices such as prosecco, bellinis or mimosas, Crab Tavern is all about the hard stuff. You can choose from red, white or rosé wine, or bottled beer for the table, and whilst this goes wonderfully with the fresh fish, a lighter option would also have been welcome.
The mains on the menu are equally intriguing and aim to please everybody on your table. While brunch classics are repped wonderfully (‘Eggs Benny’, ‘Eggs Florentine’, ‘Eggs Royale’ and a ‘Full Monty’ fry up giving us our morning fix), the restaurant also covers off less-conventional choices such as a soft-shell crab burger, moules frites and surf and turf salad. The portions are all ginormous and come beautify cooked- the eggs arrive runny, rested on crisply toasted muffins, while the specialist seafood dishes are fresh and decadent.
If you’re not suitably stuffed by this point, you can dive in to a dessert platter like no other. Chocolate brownies, pecan tarts and apple pies arrive on a cream-scattered platter, soaked in a sticky maple syrup and bourbon sauce, rounding off proceedings perfectly.
Though pricey, as one might expect in its Broadgate Circle setting, Crab Tavern delivers a delightful brunch to lure even the most sceptic-brunchers out of their shells – make sure you get your claws into this one soon!
Crab Tavern – Broadgate Circle, Unit 7 London EC2M 2 QS