I’ve always had a troubled relationship with the egg. When I was younger, it was something to be shunned from my plate—not detested, perhaps, but certainly not enjoyed. As I grew up, it became a sort of culinary nonentity; something I would eat if I had to, but not something I would ever actually choose to eat, or even really cook with. Eggs have just never really been my thing.
How strange a thing it was, then, to agree to sit down for a long breakfast at Egg Break, Notting Hill’s newest (and very possibly only) egg-based café and restaurant. How wonderful, too, to have found the place—and the food—so truly loveable.
Egg Break (formerly Thai Break, according to the establishment’s amusingly faux-defaced sign) sits just off that main road which passes through Notting Hill Gate, a 30-second walk from the Tube station of the same name. It was opened last month by Soho House and, as you’d expect, serves a range of dishes for breakfast and lunch which all, in some way, utilise eggs in their recipes. Expect to see anything from the old classics—a full English, egg on toast, Eggs Florentine, Benedict or Royale—to more adventurous dishes—spaghetti carbonara with poached egg, spring vegetable soup served with pickled eggs, fried chicken buns with egg.
Beyond that, there’s an extensive range of smoothies, teas, coffees, milkshakes and cocktails, wines, beers, spirits, and a few dessert options. It’s a menu that blends familiarity with innovation and, most crucially, never quite overdoes it on the eggs; mostly, they complement dishes—and even the cocktails, in some cases—rather than drive them.
My breakfast consisted of broken (essentially scrambled) eggs, chorizo, roast tomato, scamorza and spring onion (£7). The eggs—moment of truth, here—were perfectly done, and the chorizo and scamorza in particular were pretty clever inclusions into the recipe; not something you’d quite expect to be having with your broken eggs outside Spain, where the dish is more popular, but welcome all the same.
My guest veered for a more classic choice with the Eggs Royale (£8), with no real complaints there apart from a slightly dry muffin—though this, we noted, is mostly nit-picking. As sides, we opted for fennel sausage (£3) and hash browns (£2). Again, no complaints; the portions were generous for the price, and the hash browns were particularly well done.
Drinks-wise, the cocktails we tried—a Clover Club and a Pisco Sour (£7 each)—were entirely up to standard (and kudos to Egg Break for agreeing to serve them at 10am) while our desserts, Dutch pancakes with fruit (£5) and baked salted caramel custard with crème fraiche (£4), were, if not outstanding, certainly good value for money.
What else to say? The location is quiet yet central, and very easy to find. The décor is pleasant, bright and never overbearing. The staff were excellent, and displayed a level of casual yet professional approachability and friendliness that is all too rare in most dining experiences. I have precious few complaints: that aforementioned dry muffin, perhaps, or the slight delay in receiving our cocktails. But this isn’t fine dining—it’s a nice little café in Notting Hill—and to expect perfection in things like that is slightly mad.
The simple fact of the matter is that Egg Break promised me eggs, something I have never been the biggest fan of, delivered on that promise, and then made me love them. And that, in the end, is all that really matters.