Brunch is sometimes a victim of its own hype. Unfairly swept up into lists of “stuff white people like” or girly lists of things to do on a Sunday before hitting the mall, brunch is actually the most fuss-free, guilt-free meal of the week. You don’t have to wake up early for it and if you’re hungover with a complexion that looks “haunted”, a stack of pancakes and a fresh cup of coffee is the answer. Then you can drag your carcass home to lie facedown on the couch for the rest of the day. It’s a win-win.
Frank’s Canteen opened up a few months ago on Highbury New Park and has a simple no-nonsense rustic feel with white walls and a handful of pale wooden tables. We ordered the Potato cakes with smoked paprika butter, poached eggs, spring onions, spinach leaves, Norfolk black bacon & lemon crème fraiche dressing. This was good but despite the list of ingredients, it didn’t have a great deal of flavour. It’s nice to go out for brunch and order food that has a bit of an edge to it that makes it stand out. This is why I love going to Ottolenghi. It was just a tad on the boring side for £10. We assumed the potato cakes were a type of hash brown but it was more like some sort of bread.
The Huevos Rancheros were a much better option. Soft corn tortillas, poached eggs, chilli tomato salsa, refried beans, coriander & mature cheddar. I enjoyed it but again, I felt like it was lacking excitement and needed something more. Maybe we’ve gotten too picky and jaded? Other options are Poached Eggs on Sourdough toast served with side options like Braised red onions, tomato & borlotti beans, or Norfolk black bacon, Lincolnshire sausage and Smoked salmon. It’s a really nice and cosy neighbourhood cafe but there isn’t anything that particularly stood out like the Sydney breakfast at Highbury Arts Club or amazing Eggs Benedict at Yolk. But you can’t go wrong if you live in the area and just want to pop in for a fuss-free cup of coffee and plate of poached eggs and bacon.
86 Highbury Park
London N5 2XE