Whoever invented brunch is my kind of person; that woman (or man) really understood the meaning of ‘weekend’. They knew that Saturday and Sunday mornings are for sleeping in and lazing about, sometimes nursing the hangover from the night before, other times just procrastinating and avoiding those pesky chores in life. They knew that by the time you finally manage to get out of bed and make yourself look respectable you’re actually pretty hungry. In fact, if you’re anything like me, you’re rather starving by then. The thought of the weekday status quo of cereal or marmite (New Zealand, of course) on Vogels just doesn’t hit the right notes on such weekends… you need something more, after all it is almost lunch time. And that’s where brunch comes in; you basically only need two meals in the weekend, and this is one of them
Like the rest of the weekend, brunch is best savoured slowly. It’s the perfect time to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in ages, something which happens all too easily in London, and share those dating disaster stories or tube rage rants. London has a plethora of great brunch places, but last weekend I decided to try something brand spanking new: Le Bun’s “Le Brunch”, which is enjoying month-long residency at Old Bengal Warehouse near Liverpool Street.
I’ve heard loads of great things about Le Bun, a French-American duo who apparently whip up some darn tasty burgers with a twist. Their concept is to change the way people perceive French food, taking it from the starched white tablecloths to the street. Quite literally so. Le Bun has been taking London’s street food scene by storm, becoming popular at Dalston’s Street Feast and Riverside Feast at the Battersea Power Station. Now, like many successful food trucks or stalls before them, they are moving one step closer to bricks and mortar while still serving all their stand out dishes.
I know their signature dish is the Le Bourguignon Bun – slow cooked short ribs with truffle mayo and champagne slaw – but I really couldn’t resist the Le Duck Frites Bun of confit duck, champagne slaw and bernaise spread. It was messy but the duck was rich, the sauce was oozy, and the brioche bun was oh-so-light and lovely; definitely worth the sticky fingers afterwards.
If a burger doesn’t take your fancy for brunch (are you mad?) there are other non-bun options like Le Bisque Mac (a french take on mac and cheese) or another American inspired option: Truffles ’n’ Waffle, a decadent dish of fried chicken with shaved truffles.
The French-American theme does not end with the food: make sure you peruse the cocktail menu for some interesting concoctions, some perhaps more familiar than others. I thoroughly enjoyed Noir a Paris and Le New York Sour Twist, but I will confess it was partly due to the small rush of feeling slightly illicit drinking a cocktail before 12pm. Though in my defence, you know as well as I do that brunch is best served with some booze.
The excellent food and drinks coupled with the lovely outdoor setting of the Old Bengal Warehouse made for a very enjoyable brunch experience, one which I would happily revisit. However, time is ticking: Le Brunch is only served on weekends in October from 11am-4pm. So hurry if you want to taste it for yourself.
For more information, check out their website here.