This week in Saturday Brunch, Ibrahim Salha visits The Ned for a banquet-style spread and we combine our breakfast favourites to top sourdough toast
I’ve got something to admit before we go any further: I’m not a big brunch eater. I’m no avocado toast buff and I wouldn’t consider myself a professor of pancakes. How do I like my eggs in the morning? Incubating, preferably. In fact, I don’t actually eat anything before 2pm while I dip my toes into the world of intermittent fasting. Anything after 2pm is strictly lunch or a seriously early dinner, if you ask me.
Luckily, brunch at The Ned caters for the meal-agnostic among us and offers an exhaustive range of dishes to choose from at their buffet. You’ll find it in the fantastically opulent surroundings of Millie’s Lounge. It only happens on Sundays, which is a good thing, probably, as it gives you the rest of the week to recover. Among the highlights was the Sunday roast station, offering beef, lamb, chicken and pork, along with the usual trimmings, which are regularly replenished. Over two visits, the tender and well-cooked lamb was the clear winner of the choices of meat, while the sides were as good as any you’ll find accompanying the best roasts in London.
You can also get the aforementioned avocado toast, pancakes and everything else you’d expect to see at brunch. There’s even salads, which are something of a sleeper hit; they’re good enough that they don’t seem like an afterthought.
The main event, though, is clearly the seafood. Lobsters and plump prawns are innocently piled up next to gleaming oysters and enough smoked salmon to stretch around the vast venue. It brings to mind the lavish buffets of Las Vegas. This is where most people try to make back the entry price of £38 per person, it seems. “But is the seafood actually good?” you’ll be asked by friends afterwards. I would say it is. You can get better lobster elsewhere in London. Lord knows you can get better oysters. But it’s rare to find this much quality seafood at this price. Did I mention it’s all you can eat?
Dessert is thrown in for good measure and are mostly good. The custard slice (a mille-feuille by any other name) is brilliantly light and hits the right notes of vanilla and nostalgia and is the star pudding from my visits. Cakes, doughnuts and eton mess are also offered but it appears most people don’t make it to this stage, which is a shame. I’d suggest saving space.
Millie’s Lounge also offers bloody marys made by your table as well as a huge range of juices, cocktails and a decent wine list. Suffice to say these aren’t included in the price, which could inflate your bill, but you should find good value while brunching at The Ned.
Millie's Lounge, The Ned, Soho House, 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ; 020 3828 2000; open daily; thened.com/restaurants/millies-lounge
Avocado on sourdough toast with chilli scrambled egg and bacon
Prep time: 20 minutes
184g streaky bacon
4 large free range eggs
100g Rachel’s Greek style natural low fat yoghurt
Salt and pepper
1 red chilli, chopped (deseed if you wish the dish to be less hot)
10g Rachel’s lightly salted butter
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
Dark sough dough loaf, sliced
Begin by cooking the bacon under the grill or in the oven – cook to your liking. Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and add the Rachel’s Greek style natural low fat yoghurt.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then use a fork to beat them together. Add the chopped chilli.
Put a medium sized saucepan over a low heat and add Rachel’s lightly salted butter. Leave it to melt slowly, then when it starts to bubble, carefully pour in the eggs.
Stir slowly with a wooden spoon, or a spatula if you’ve got one, so you can get right to the edges of the pan. Keep gently stirring until the eggs still look silky, slightly runny and slightly underdone, and then remove from the heat – the heat of the pan will continue to cook the eggs to perfection.
Layer the scrambled egg with avocado slices and cooked bacon on toasted slices of sough dough bread, serving immediately.
For more recipes, visit rachelsorganic.co.uk/recipe