Sunday brunch with the girls. So Sex & The City, don’t you think? My London friends and I have a sort-of ritual. Every other Sunday (or so), someone would suggest Sunday brunch. Yum. Last week, we decided to visit a new haunt in South Kensington, on Old Brompton Road, a French place called Margaux. I was pretty excited as South Kensington is the French enclave in London, so it seemed the food should be pretty good.
And when we first walked in, all the other tables were speaking French, so it seemed our hunch was spot on. (In case you’re wondering where the other tables were based on the photo below, they were all sitting outside, in the sun. Being typical Asians, we chose to hide at the back!) Margaux had enough tables that you didn’t go “Oh dear, may have chosen the wrong place” but not so many that you thought “Sigh, will have to shout again!”
The decor was pretty good. It reminded me of brunch restaurants in New York. I particularly liked the brick wall! However, the menu was too restrictive- and healthy sounded for my taste.
On the bright side, they had a great selection of freshly squeezed juices- the REAL freshly squeezed ones- not the ones from a bottle that says “freshly squeezed.” 😛 If you’ve been to my blog before, that notebook may look familiar!Despite the limited choice, based on the hostess’ recommendation, I decided to go for the egg & crab tartine, an open sandwich sort of concoction. P chose a chicken tartine and S her standard omelette. Oh, and being greedy, I topped up with grilled veg by the side. What do you think of the presentation? Serviceable enough to me, but nothing special.
And, unfortunately, so was the food. It was edible enough that we finished everything but lacked the special something that left us feeling satisfied. My egg tartine, for example. was on a grilled piece of bead. I normally love grilled bread- but not when it’s been made soggy (by the egg!) Just seems like a waste of calories to me as everyone knows wheat isn’t really ideal if you aren’t naturally Gisele Bunchen or a Victoria’s Secret Angel 😛 Even the addition of the crab didn’t help- it was rather tasteless- I don’t know if the solution is something as simple as more salt, or it needs herbs or what, but all 3 of us were unanimous: we wouldn’t be going back. A pity, as the service and the ambience were pretty good!
L’ETO, KINGS ROAD
Margaux was pretty unsatisfying, so we wanted to wash it down with coffee (the girls)/ cake (me). P & S had been living in London longer than I had and when they immediately started raving about L’Eto, it sounded like a Must Go.
On 149 Kings Road, it was a 20 minute (or so) leisurely walk from Margaux, which gave us just enough time to digest our brunch. The exterior was pretty enough- all glass wall & cakes – and there was a crowd inside, which was a good sign. I immediately spotted my favourite (chocolate cake) which I promptly ordered. We were led downstairs as the ground floor was full.
Normally, basements tend to be dank and dark but the lower ground floor of L’Eto felt like you were entering a friend’s bright yet cosy living room. Bliss. Then the cakes arrived.
Ah, not so blissful then. My cake was… stodgy is the best way I can describe it. In the words of P, it was like a ‘cake gone wrong’. I had mistakenly assumed it was a flourless chocolate cake but it wasn’t. Looking at the sign in the pictures now, I think it’s meant to be a chocolate fudge? Maybe it was because of my expectations but it wasn’t as creamy and sinful as a flourless chocolate cake yet not as light as a chocolate sponge. And the part near the crust was just, well weird tasting. In the end, I didn’t even finish it! (Unheard of if you understand chocolates and me!)
On the bright side, S loved her honey cake so much, she couldn’t even wait for me to finish taking photos before attacking it. In her words, “the best cake in the house.” Guess I should have listened to her.
Alas, 2 dings in a day. What a waste of calories!