Sunday, 23 September 2012

A review of the Market House

30 Broadway Market, London, E2 4QJ

It's not often that a place completely misses the point of breakfast, but it does happen. And unfortunately, the Market House seems to have done just that.

Branded as a pub/restaurant, I was prepared to be quite forgiving if their morning offering wasn't quite up to scratch. But, as my other half pointed out, given the standard of the competition near by, if you're not going to do it right, why do it at all?

First, the good points: the ambience is relaxed and there are quaint little touches like buckets of flowers and jars of cutlery on the tables. The staff are attentive and the coffee was tasty and well poured.
However: I ordered scrambled eggs and salmon with toast which arrived extremely overcooked within about 3 minutes of ordering. How can you overcook scrambled eggs in 3 minutes? You can't. But you can ladle it out from a pre-cooked batch and then attempt to pass it off as edible.

It was a similar story for the full English my fella ordered. The component parts were fine, it was just painfully obvious that it had been sat drying out in a Bain-Marie or oven for an hour or so. Like a fair but honest parent, I wasn't angry, but disappointed.
To give a balanced account, the poached eggs, which appeared to be the only element cooked fresh, were done to perfection and the table next to us that had variations on eggs benedict, florentine etc. seemed happy enough. But if you only do poached eggs well then, surely, only serve poached eggs?

The other disappointment was the apparent misunderstanding of what it is to have a leisurely weekend brunch, spread over several hours, coffees and magazine supplements. I don't want my breakfast thrust in front of me within 10 minutes of walking through the door.

When a new eatery opens on one of your favourite streets, you can't help but imagine all the good times you will spend together. Instead, I was left with the empty feeling of not really wanting to return. No matter how 'eclectic' the decor, I won't be back for brunch in a hurry.

The Market House have a website, they're also on Facebook and Twitter.

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