The Perfect Gloop – Eggslut

It was cold, it was raining. Google maps was getting a signal somewhere from the neighbouring galaxy. I had starved myself all day in order to prepare for a large meal at the place originally intended. Trouble was I simply couldn’t find it and I. Was. Getting. Angry. The combination of low blood sugar and getting caught in the rain and crap internet signal was starting to annoy me. First world problems, I know. (Ed note: I was failing to find Wing Wing from Tottenham Court Road.)

Stopped at a road to check for traffic before crossing, and I happened to see this shop on my peripheral. One word. Well two words annexed together. So off guard and unawares was I caught, I couldn’t stop laughing. It has not escaped my attention that this blog has a strong central London and Brick Lane bias. Try as I might to venture out of my comfort zone, the city drew me back in. Simply knew this blog was going to make a stop here. Egg. . . Slut?

Eggslut. A slut for eggs?

Eggs. Amazing eggs. ‘Always a new way of fixing eggs‘, they say: Scrambled, fried, overeasy, poached. . .cake. Infinitely variable. Filling and fatty and protein. And before you die please try pizza with an egg cracked on top. Historically, eggs have been part of our diets in one way shape or form since antiquity. They typically are used to symbolize the concept of virility or rejuvenation. They represented life to the Egyptians. Hippocrates recommended them for. . . um. . . inflammation. The Romans took to them a lot more though, characterising them as a symbol of burial and renewal, or rebirth in Christianity. The shell to represent the Christ’s empty tomb. Then life comes up from within. (They definitely didn’t steal that from the Pagans) It’s a strong dose of protein, fat and vitamin D. Perhaps that why eggs are used in modern times more as a “restorative” breakfast. It needs to be said that eggs are a godsend if you have a night on the town. Such is the fat content that it cooking eggs for flavour character is so easy too. I walked in already rubbing my hands.

It was a bright and blustery Tuesday, pretty much bang on 12 noon, but would pay good money to be a fly on the wall here on a weekend morning. All these hungover inner-city types Boris-Karloff-walking their way into the building for their dose of eggs and breads and cheese and meats with all this up tempo dance music. It’s hangover food elevated to artisanship. It’s a cheery atmosphere for the most dour of times.

Sausage, egg, and cheese. That cheese was so gooey it dripped and in order to take this picture I wrapped it around the edge of the eggs.

I love the confidence of having only six main things on the menu. Six quite different things it needs to be said. Turkey sausage, ragu, cheeseburger, egg salad, if you want a clue to how variable eggs are, this menu is a big hint. Wish they would do something with chicken though; you could order it to see which one would come first. (Ed Note: are you sure that joke works?)

The smell in this place, it’s not strongly eggy. But this rich current of chives, cheese, onion. There’s meat in the air too. Coffee as well. And the interior is gorgeous. The decor isn’t a million miles off Avobar. Beachy woods and summery colours. There’s a helix staircase leading up to a quiet, spaced out dining room with a huge picture of a fried egg. And we have to mention, it’s extremely clean! Kudos to their cleaning crew! I really wanted to sneak a pic of the kitchen/counter till area because it’s so well organised and clear and spaced out and a credit to them. It’s all noticeably freshly painted.

The kitchen is front of house, and there’s about five staff. All of which were very happy and friendly. This might has something to do with the music. They’ve got a playlist that’s something like a classic, retro disco: Soul II Soul’s Back to Life, Drizabone’s Real Love, Average White Band’s Let’s Go Round Again. . . the sort of up tempo stuff you have in an Essex gym. Cece Peniston’s Finally starts an impromptu staff sing along. You half expect a flash mob to break out any moment. If there’s one thing that’s hard to hate, it’s an authentic fun atmosphere.

“. . .creamy textures soothing the spice and you’re left with this tangy, thick kinda like ranch sauce sort of thing. . . “

Giving me nerves, however, I had the rotten luck of choosing a table at the back and may have been sitting behind the manager – who personally asked me how it was – which made me think I was rumbled writing notes in between bites. Reassuringly, the waitress who took my order was so friendly. I was wearing a face mask and when bringing me my coffee she said “you don’t need to wear that.” and when taking it off she went “Wooooaaaahh!” when seeing my face. (Ed note: she probably did that to everyone who wore a mask. . . ) the staff don’t wear name tags but she was staking a claim as the front of houser; asking patrons how the food was, greeting and thanking people with regularity.

For our first order, we have sausage, egg cheese (£9.50). It’s an incredibly rich smell from the cheese initially, but then the turkey sausage aroma comes in. The poultry has the most prominent taste in my first bites, and it’s that white-meat taste, but with some herbs thrown in. The honey mustard aioli is a bit of a hit-miss thing for me, it gives a little sharpness, a little acid to the mix, but it’s a little too undistinguished, you can tell it is in there, but not standing out enough to cut it. There’s cheddar cheese too, which rounds all the texture out, softens it even. The cheese is melted at the right level to mesh with the medium egg. Stringy and gooey.

Fairfax (£9.00). And I want that logo on a mug!

The buns they use are brioche, which I think is the best thing if you’re going to put dryness and protein fat in a sandwich to battle it out. The egg brings that heavy fat flavour, and the yolk is gorgeous. I really didn’t want to pull the bun apart to look and judge the egg so the rim and the yolk were utterly perfect. That perfect combination of sludgy, glossy yellow goo. The menu says it’s over medium. Fantastically well cooked. The sweet spot of hard but not too hard. Ultimately you’re left with a bun that’s fighting against the dry, granular meat of the turkey sausage and the heavy goo of the fatty-fatty egg. It’s a great dynamic. A really, really interesting mix, and something I will need to eat at least 28 of in order to really conclude whether we like it.

“. . . The egg tops off the meal so well, all that gloopy fat on top of it all, smothering it in eggy goodness. . .”

The interior is a spacey and gorgeous place, a nice little place to hide in central London. And I want that light fixture for my bedroom ceiling.

For seconds we have Fairfax (£9.00) It’s scrambled eggs this time with a noticeable amount of salt amongst the fluffy lightness. That sriracha doesn’t so much bring heat but counters the cheese and chive and egg, so you’ve got those creamy textures soothing the spice and you’re left with this tangy, thick kinda like ranch sauce sort of thing. It’s a good taste. Chives give that herby taste, rounding out the dynamic out a bit more. There’s also a bunch of wonderful caramelised onion drizzled on top that packs a bit of sourness. So there’s a lot going on in this roll, for something that can be so basic, this really is a unique stamp. What is lovely is while virtually anyone can cook eggs, it’s takes so much skill to get a brioche egg roll this fancy and unique. It’s a touch artisanal and fancy. Speaking of which, all the dishes and cups come to you with recyclable napkins and plates. Like that eco-friendly stuff they have in that London nowadays.

The most prestigious one for my money is the Gaucho (£15.00). The prettily pink slices of ragu beef are tender. Slick, and and so gorgeous, like the beef you get in pho, so succulent. The egg tops off the meal so well, all that gloopy fat on top of it all, smothering it in eggy goodness. The honey-mustard is a bit spicier this time, and better for it because the bacon battles it out, with that salty taste against the warming heat, and honey too. There’s red onion to go with that steak as well that the chimichurri and rocket leaves compliment. Carrying a lot of greenery too. But it is very stacked, and does start to fall to pieces.

The Gaucho (£15.00) That’s a lot of trimmings!

The brioche buns can be a little dry though, and the softness and sweetness is taken out of them, which is a shame. Out of curiosity, could they toast the buns up so they hold better? A nice crispy toasted bun would go well as fried egg rolls. However, my real compliant is my plain black coffee was burnt. And they visibly have a fancy coffee machine so I’m not taking any excuses. If these guys up their coffee game they will irrefutably have the best hangover breakfast in London. (Excluding leftovers from last night’s takeaway) Think about that for a tagline, guys: “the best hangover breakfast in London.”

But if we are to accept, as I have posited, Eggslut as the artisan hangover food place, we negate the class, the style and the rich décor. This is a place that has allowed themselves room to breathe. It doesn’t pummel you over the head with novelty, there is so much more than a concept here. You can feel it. They’ve got a well balanced, hearty, and varied menu. Adding to my evidence that this is superb comfort food; I noticed a heavily pregnant women came in her PJs to order a to-go.

An extra comfort occurred when leaving everyone, the entire staff thanked me as I walked out. Which was nice. All in all, this was actually fun. The atmosphere was so welcoming, authentic and in such a unique place. But even if we were to boil this place down to the basics; they sell buns of meat and egg and cheese. Why aren’t you here?

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