Do you love brunch? Well then, this place is for you.
Eggs Benedict no longer constitute as the only way to have your eggs and eat them these days. Dirty Bones in Soho take brunch to a whole new level. When you have two men with you who are active, have big appetites and enjoy food, a poached egg and some avocado on an English muffin just won't cut it. Poached eggs on a crumpet with 14 hour slow-cooked short rib, caramelised shallots and mustard seeds, topped with Hollandaise however, is the way forward.
Booking was relatively easy via their website, dirty-bones.com/book-a-table, any changes that I needed to make were swiftly dealt with and confirmation emails received shortly after. Our numbers fluctuated a little. We could not have asked for a better day to go out in London. The sun was shining, the city was quiet at 10:30 on a Sunday morning and we were the first customers in the door. The Soho branch of this chain has great big windows that open out onto Denman Street. We were seated at the best table in the house, or so we thought, right next to the open windows in the glorious sunshine.
The brunch menu is, as I said, a little non conformist and has a few added bonus extras such as American style Chicken and Waffle with a fried egg and maple syrup, The Mac Daddy brisket and dry aged steak burger with Mac & Cheese or if you are a true hipster the likes of Matcha Custard French Toast with an almond crunch and candied bacon may grab your fancy. If you fancy a boozy brunch you can pay £19 per person for a flight of 4 of their house cocktails. I tried the UpTown Spritz; Tanqueray gin, Aperol, Campari, pink grapefruit and ginger ale which was delicious and the Dirty Mary, sounded, well, dirty! In the best way possible.
We were nothing short of hungry so ordered a short rib hash with eggs sunny side up, the Mac Daddy, chicken and waffle, short rib Soho crumpet, breakfast fries and an avocado Soho crumpet to share between 4 of us. It was all very tasty and there was some revered silence for a few moments as we devoured our food. The chicken was tender, the beef short rib flavourful and oh so soft. The Hollandaise had the right amount of lemon and the Siracha in the avocado on point. If I may, they did damn good friend eggs! Soft, yellow, unctuous and delicious.
So to recap; Food? Yum! Ambience? Good, nice to have the place to ourselves and be sitting in the sun, we were the only customers for quite a while. Our ordering so much food and being visible to passers by may have been a good advert for them. Prices? Can I just say that for 4 of us, a round of coffees, 1 cocktail, a milkshake with booze, 6 main courses and a dessert, plus service the total bill was only £97.34. Very reasonable for London! You can land up paying that just for 2 at dinner in some places.
The only down side, I must admit, was that service when we first arrived was a little slow. We were very kindly bought tap water when we sat down and were waiting for our friends to arrive but once they had arrived I had to catch the eye of the very friendly waitress more than once before she came to offer us coffees or teas. I must admit service was generally good and they could see that we were happy chatting and catching up but I was in need of a caffeine fix which took a little too long. I start to get edgy in restaurants when this happens. Considering that we supposedly had the seating for 2 hours we were there for about 2 hours and 45 minutes and they didn't chase us off our table which I was very grateful for. Oh and I forgot to mention they did bring out 2 portions of the peanut butter cookie cup with candles in for those celebrating birthdays on our table which was appreciated. So all in all I'd say good.
A small touch that I loved was the little book they bought to the table with the bill. You could write your own comments and thoughts as well as read others. There were a few funny ones and I took time to write a little ditty of my own; "Roses are red, violets are pretty, the food was amazing and the music gritty." The soundtrack to lunch was interesting and varied. A veritable melange of sound.
I know sunshine makes everything look, taste and feel better but I really think this was a great food experience and look forward to going back and maybe trying the lunch and dinner menu another time.
Food - 8.5/10 Service - 8/10 Ambience - 7/10 (just because it lacked a buzz to begin with) Price - 9/10
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain