Canova Hall

address: 250 Ferndale Road SW9 2BQ

telephone: 020 7733 8356

bookings@canovahall.com

https://www.canovahall.com/

We usually wait until we have had a few trips to a new restaurant before we review, but on this occasion we really wanted to provide them with some feedback.

This new restaurant is based in an iconic building which used to be an annex of the Bon Marche department state and was subsequently used as the Brixton Post Office. The renovated interior is designed by Red Deer with the usual exposed brick, pipes and a long Edwardian style panelled bar. Most seats are banquette style which seat 6 people at a squeeze but there are tables outside and inside for bigger parties. Not only do they offer meals and a fully stocked bar with plenty of small vat gins but you can also hot desk with a sessional card which allows bottomless coffee. So were were pretty excited when six of us went for Sunday Brunch.

Brunch menus offer a mix of alcoholic cocktails, a selection of egg dishes, pasta and, of course, a bacon sandwich. The big bacon sandwich was just that – big. Three slices of toasted sour dough with bacon, eggs, and the spicy tomato ketchup (mushrooms were missing on mine) with chips. The chips were delicious but toasting the bread was a complete mistake. You needed good teeth and a sawing method with a knife to get through the thick crust. We advise thinner slices or less crust to begin with.

American pancakes were more like welsh cake size – small and perfectly formed but not the gross US style but were perfectly edible. The Italian baked eggs didn’t need to be called Italian but were also OK. Finally the Chef’s meatballs (‘Nduja tomato sauce, parmesan with pecorino, lemon & red onion focaccia) was also OK but came about 15 minutes after everyone else’s food but we filled him up on the chips.

We washed it all down with three or four cocktails and coffee. One of us had the ‘bottomless mimosa’ but the service was so slow there was no chance of making good use of the option.

This lack lustre review is because we were left without any attention unless we overcame our natural inhibition and grabbed a waitress. Coffee came quickly, cocktails came slowly (took half an hour) and the food took an hour to appear after we managed to order it (more than 90 minutes after we arrived) and then not all the dishes at the same time. We saw every single member of the waiting staff and no-one seemed to be in charge of looking after our table. We were relatively early (11 am booking). The place was full by 1.00 pm and we have no idea if late arrivers got their food by the end of service although other reviews we’ve seen suggest that our experience was fairly typical.

Sunday brunch is a time to relax with family and friends and we were happy to do so but not when anxious that we would be forgotten yet again. This is a management failure in terms of the training and allocation of staff. The bar was within spitting distance and we should have had our drinks in short order. By the time that brunch arrived we were all fed up with the place.

We wish them well in the future and we will make another attempt when they’ve got their act together. The bill (which was wrong on the first attempt) came to £126.00 for six. We didn’t leave a tip.

Carioca – for breakfast

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address: 25-27 Market Row, Brixton

Tel: 020 7095 0953

http://cariocabrixton.com/

This is becoming a regular thing – out for breakfast or early lunch and we have noticed many people not just wanting toast and coffee but needing something more substantial. So wandering into the Market is not recommended. If you definitely want to eat soon and there are more than two of you, bCarioca02ook in advance (or as we did on the walk down to Brixton.).

Carioca is a Brazilian restaurant and we have previously reviewed it here. You can still order your traditional British but explore a little and have the corn muffin or the carnival breakfast with spicy pineapple, plantain and fried bell peppers as a feast for the eyes. We still haven’t tried all the options and next time when I am not watching the waistline or my 5 a day, I’ll definitely have the “Favela Da Rossa” with ripe plantain sandwiched with mozzarella, then dipped in batter and fried. If that wasn’t enough you also get fresh tomato, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. So vegetarian and meat eaters can blow-out here.

Continue reading

Prince of Wales – POW – Brunch in Brixton

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address: 467- 469 Brixton Rd, London SW9 8HH

telephone: 020 7095 1978

Website https://pow-london.com/the-prince-of-wales/

We decided to go out again for Sunday brunch in Brixton. We’ve already been to Ekcovision – see here – and intend to make this a series. This time we ended up at POW, which offers a Sunday Roast, as well as Brunch all day. Some of us can remember even before KFC, when it was the Prince of Wales and a proper boozer and it’s still pretty spacious inside. There are tables, high and low for large and small parties. There were five of us on this occasion and we squeezed into a long table – in the USA it would be a “booth”. It was a squeeze as the table just fitted the space. The menu is provided by chefs from the Duck Egg Café so it is eggs everything – hen or duck – on muffins or with a large mixed grill. Continue reading

CLOSED – Ekcovision

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address: 15 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, SW9 8HX

telephone: 020 7274 7182

website: http://ekcovision.com/

OPENING HOURS

Monday               5.30 pm       Midnight

Tuesday               5.30 pm       Midnight

Wednesday        5.30 pm       Midnight

Thursday             11 am       3 am

Friday                   11 am       3 am

Saturday              11 am        3 am

Sunday                 11 am       Midnight

Last entrance: 2 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

This is one of the newer bar/cafés to open in Brixton and is probably the bravest, as it is in one of the arches planned for closure and rehabilitation by Network Rail. It describes itself as having “an intimate 1920’s speakeasy setting” and is aimed mainly at the evening crowd. But we went to have brunch late one Sunday morning, when is more in the café mode. Although not mentioned on its website, this runs from Thursday to Sunday from about 11.30am to 5.00pm. You can eat anywhere in Ekcovision – there a tables and chairs; booths with bench seats; and, for those who want a quiet time, the upstairs “Den” is really out of the way.

We sat downstairs, next to the door onto Brixton Station Road. Unfortunately the doors never closed properly and were after left ajar. But, given that it was a cold morning, this helped in a way as it created a community with other brunchers, as we all took turns to close them.

ecko04They have a short menu of pastries (croissants and the like), a full meat or veggie breakfast, soup of the day and various styles for poached eggs (Benedict, Florentine, etc.). We chose a veggie breakfast and an eggs Florentine, washed down with an Americano and pot of English Breakfast tea. It was all very relaxing and we didn’t have to wait long until all the dishes and drinks arrived, although then my dish had to be returned as it was the Benedict not the Florentine. The veggie breakfast was straight-forward, with the potatoes bought-in, most-likely frozen. But the eggs were fresh and it was tasty and filling.

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I assumed that they would just re-plate the poached eggs for my mistaken dish but they actually cooked a new batch. This took a little longer but we were in no hurry and when they arrived they were still piping hot but not overcooked. You can’t say much about an English muffin, so I won’t, but the Hollandaise sauce was great. I suspect that it probably wasn’t really “Homemade”, as described on the menu, but it did have lots of lemon and, when served, the dish had been seasoned with black pepper. So there is attention to detail.

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The whole bill was £18.50 for the two of us. We couldn’t fault it and we would probably return.