Bad Egg is one of those places that comes up time and again when you’re looking for places to bottomless brunch in London. It seems to be one of the first places that really embraced the free-flowing brunch concept and as a result, it’s been on my list to try for a while. The brunch is served all day Saturdays and Sundays and they do a “Frunch” (Friday brunch) now too. It gets pretty booked up in advance and it’s not huge inside so it’s not somewhere to head for a spontaneous brunch.
I visited Bad Egg with a group of 6 for my best friend’s birthday. It seemed like a good option as we had one veggie, one Coeliac and some who weren’t drinking that day and the menu seemed to cater for everyone. There’s two options – £23.50 for the non-alcoholic “Virgin” brunch and £35 for “The Brunch” alcoholic version. It doesn’t break the bank and there’s no worries of splitting up the bill afterwards which is great for groups.
Myself and Paul both went for the alcoholic bottomless brunch whilst everyone else went non-alcoholic. The alcoholic drink options are Frizzante, Mimosa or Bloody Mary. We mixed it up between Mimosas and Frizzante throughout the afternoon. It’s worth noting that your 2 hour bottomless time limits starts as soon as your first person sits at your table and not when you order your first drink, so if you have friends that tend to be late then it may be worth meeting outside first!
We had to constantly chase for drink refills, sitting with empty glasses for long periods. They also wouldn’t refill the glasses for the final 15 minutes of the 2 hours, which I’ve never come across before. They did eventually but it took some arguing from us and assurance that we would leave our table on time, which we did with empty glasses and a slightly sour taste in our mouths.
You get to choose any two plates from the menu which includes both sweet and savoury plates, some big and some smaller ones. I liked that if you wanted to you could choose two sweet dishes and weren’t limited to having to choose one sweet and savoury.
Unfortunately our experience didn’t start well. Despite telling the waitress we had a Coeliac in our group, she had no idea which items on the menu contained gluten, which options they were able to make gluten free and how they prepared anything in the kitchen – nor did she offer to check. She advised him to order two dishes which, when checked with a different staff member, both contained gluten and weren’t available gluten free. By the time we’d sorted it it meant that this person’s food arrived much later than everyone else’s too. They did apologise for the mix up but the service on the whole was very slow and sloppy.
Unfortunately we were all disappointed with our food when it did come.
The Nduja, cheese and fried egg fries which sounded great had so little Nduja that we sent them back thinking they’d sent us the wrong order. I was first told by the waitress that Nduja is a type of cheese (worrying in itself)…! Once I explained that Nduja isn’t cheese and is in fact a soft, spicy sausage she went back to the kitchen and came back and said the Nduja must be in the cheese. The couple of red specks you can see was the only evidence of the Nduja, there’s no way you’d have been able to tell there was any in there by taste. The cheese was akin to cinema nacho cheese and in short supply.
I had the pulled pork, beans and kimchi on sourdough for my first dish. It was better than the Nduja cheese fries but again there was no real evidence of any kimchi in taste. It was okay but I wouldn’t order it again.
Everyone commented on the pancakes being very dense and stodgy. They were absolutely swimming in maple syrup which even by my sweet-toothed standards was a bit much.
A few brave diners ordered the banana, fried chicken and maple syrup pancakes…
What I think Bad Egg has done well is that it draws in crowds through the novelty factor of bottomless brunch. There’s loud music, it’s buzzing and everyone is having fun. Pretty much all of the tables there are groups of 4+. There’s a queue for the couple of toilets that would rival most clubs and I think it attracts a lot of people that are first-time bottomless brunchers who are visiting London. I’m not sure it’s aiming for many repeat customers or locals and if it’s getting booked up every week then perhaps it doesn’t need to. They’re one of the first to do bottomless brunch on a Friday and I like their concepts and menu but, for us, the quality of the food and service really let it down and I don’t think any of us will return.
I’d love to know if anyone else has been to Bad Egg and whether you agree (or disagree!) with my review. Let me know in the comments below.
Price: ££ (£23.50 for non-alcoholic bottomless brunch, £35 for bottomless alcoholic brunch. Both include drinks, two courses and exclude service).
Nearest Tube: Moorgate