We were kindly invited to a Saturday bloggers’ breakfast at Fifteen. The menu was definitely skewed towards the English breakfast, rather than brunch, end of the pre-noon possibilities. While the downstairs main restaurant and upstairs trattoria focus on Italian cuisine for lunch and in the evening, breakfast is predominately English-ish. So its porridge, muesli, a range of breakfast sandwiches, a full fry up, juices, smoothies, and for those requiring a more forceful pick-me-up a Bloody Mary (also available without the vodka as a Virgin Mary). We thought it one of the best Bloody Marys we had had for a long while, with highly flavoursome tomato juice, a powerful chilli kick and homemade celery salt.
As a pre-breakfast treat, we had fresh hot cross buns and rhubarb jam. The buns showed real excellence from the bakers, being light and fluffy and perfectly spiced, with a soft sticky crust.
After the hot cross bun, breakfast proper started with porridge. Porridge is a simple concept, and as a habitual porridge eater, I find it a great start to the day (as Dr Johnson said of oats “A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people” to which the answer is “Better horses, better people”) but porridge can fail. A sticky, wallpaper paste-y mess is not the healthy, cholesterol reducing start to the day that we’re all looking for.
And this porridge was most definitely a success. Very smooth and oaty, with a drizzle of maple syrup on top for an added layer of flavour. Lovely.
This was followed by the Full Monty (£10.50) – eggs (poached in my case) on a slice, Cumberland sausage, black pudding, sweet cured bacon, roasted tomato and a roasted mushroom. Excellent attention to ingredients, including eggs with positively the most orange yolks ever seen. Glowingly orange in fact. And really not at all greasy for a full English.
Other members of the party tucked into scrambled egg and smoked salmon (£10) with a healthy garnish of rocket.
I couldn’t resist temptation, and had to tuck into a second hot cross bun. After a breakfast of this type – excelling in both quality and quantity, I was set up for the rest of the day. Lunch would not be needed.
Also avaiable are breakfast sandwiches (from £4.40 to £6.85)
All in all a splendid breakfast, and well worth the trek across town from my corner of West London. For those welded to their laptops, iPhones/Pads or Blackberries there is free wi-fi, perfect for surfing or tweeting.
Fifteen London was founded by Jamie Oliver in 2002. The restaurant runs an apprentice scheme, giving hard to reach young people the chance to train as chefs. The apprentices split their time between the restaurant and Lewisham college. Running the scheme costs about £30,000 a year per trainee. The restaurant’s profits are redirected into a charity to pay for the training of next generation of apprentices.
Thank you to Fifteen for asking us to breakfast and to Hannah at Nourish PR for organising.