Second time lucky and I called ahead this time to check that they didn’t have any private parties! As with many brunch places you have to be prepared to queue, especially if you’re in a big group. We got there just after 12 and thankfully we were second in the queue but it grew quickly and before we knew it there were about 5 parties behind us being told it would be over 45 minutes’ wait. We were lucky that we arrived just before a group of 5 as I think there’s only space for one or two parties of larger than two in there. The problem is that it’s so far out of the way that it’d take you 45 minutes to get anywhere else half decent, but standing for 45 minutes in the freezing winter cold feels like a bloody long time. At least it wasn’t raining though. And they have a lovely (if tiny) space in front with a few garden tables and chairs which I imagine would be perfect in summer. In fact, if it hadn’t been in the shade it probably would’ve been quite nice!
The inside area is so small that the only waiting area is outside, but in good company the time passed quickly, and we used the time to decide what we wanted. Trust me you’ll need it – everything sounds amazing and looks even better! We got most of it too, so I can vouch for the fact that over half the menu is spot on. They were kind enough to bring out some samples of freshly baked babkas while we queued too. They were still warm from the oven and they came in two of the most perfect flavours in existence – chocolate, and date and pecan. We pounced on them like vultures, and the waiter left the entire tray outside for us to polish off. I knew immediately that we had to order one with our food, and surprisingly I preferred the date and pecan. The chocolate was delicious but it was very rich and overpowering – ideal for a dessert but the date and pecan went better with our mains as it was more of a subtle flavour. Both were incredibly soft and fluffy.. you mustn’t miss out on them if you go!
Of course I wanted all of the other breads too.. so we got them all. There are only three options and they couldn’t have been more of a perfect selection. Dusty knuckle sourdough with date butter, corn bread (which is always a winner) with honey butter and a honey and zaatar flatbread. Check out that spread!
The flatbread, much like Le Bab, was a lot less like a flatbread and a lot more like a wrap than I was expecting; it was thin and crispy rather than soft and fluffy but it was beautifully flavoured with Moroccan spices, with the surprise of a hint of sweetness from the honey in some bites. The date butter was every bit as amazing as it sounds.. but the cornbread was predictably the star of the show. It was incredible. I was cheeky and took far more than my fair share but it was just SO good. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with a the perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavour. It was a beautiful deep yellow and spread thickly with honey butter, it was unbeatable.
For my main I opted for the aubergine pitta. I’m obsessed with aubergine, and I struggle to get a lot of flavour into them when I cook them myself. Not that I bother often since Marcus hates it! I was torn between that and the shakshuka, so I encouraged my mum to try the shakshuka, knowing she’d leave most of it. Though she insisted on not adding halloumi. Boo. (She does actually love baked eggs by the way, and she did say that would probably have been her first choice anyway given it was such a signature dish – I’m not that greedy!). I was right. Two bites (and less than one egg in.. she doesn’t like runny yolks in fairness) and she pushed her cutlery aside and claimed she was done and I could finish the rest. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with it though. I don’t know why but I found the spices so overpowering. It didn’t feel like a breakfast-style tomatoey baked eggs; it tasted like a rich, Moroccan tagine. There’s no denying that it was packed full of flavour though, and I think that most people would have liked it (everyone else on the table did!) but I just found that the combination of spices didn’t quite work for me.
My aubergine pitta on the other hand, was absolutely divine. A solid 10/10. For once I didn’t have an ounce of food envy and it was by far my favourite thing on the table. The aubergine itself was cooked to perfection – soft and well seasoned, coated in a deliciously creamy tahini sauce, packed into a fluffy, soft pitta bread and garnished with vibrant pink pickles, which were as tangy as they were colourful – the perfect accompaniment to the saltiness of the aubergine. There were a couple of perfect soft boiled eggs in there too – the yolks a beautiful, bright orange and cooked so that they just held their shape and didn’t run into the rest of the dish. I could’ve eaten it forever. Every single mouthful was packed full of different flavours and although it was small, it had so many elements which worked perfectly together.
Then there was my dad’s egg and bacon pitta. His ordering is as predictable as the sunrise – he isn’t adventurous at all and if there’s anything that remotely resembles a sausage or bacon sandwich on the menu, he’ll order it, but even this – the simplest of things – was done to perfection. Crispy bacon, fried eggs with the same deep yellow yolks that featured in all of our dishes, and the fluffy pitta was spread with the most deliciously sweet date jam – a perfect match.
Marcus went for the house beef salami hash. Like the shakshuka, it was served in a piping hot skillet (I burnt my hand on it, obviously). In my opinion it was probably the least exciting/unique of all the dishes, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of given how incredible everything else was, and Marcus loved it.
Obviously the meal consisted of multiple coffees, and I loved their beans. They also have bonsoy milk – yay! Coffee was definitely needed to warm up after waiting outside in the cold (some people ordered some whilst waiting which my freezing fingers would probably have appreciated!) but I waited until we were seated and I got my usual flat white. I ordered an Americano to have with the meal, and that was lovely too.. though they did spill the coffee onto the saucer before bringing it over and although I *thought* I was being careful (as every clumsy person says!), it dripped on my white shirt. You can see it in some of the pictures, and I had to go to a fancy restaurant that evening (45 jermyn street) with a beautiful stain on my shirt 🙂
I know I said that I personally didn’t like the shakshuka that much, but I probably would recommend trying both the shakshuka and the aubergine pitta if you do go – and judging by the tables of the people around us those are the most popular dishes. The others we tried were absolutely delicious but I think those two are the most unique and probably what they do best. Don’t stinge on the breads either – not only are they all different and incredibly good, you’ll need plenty of it to mop up the sauces from the shakshuka (it only comes with a tiny slice!).
I’d heard good things about this place before going, and I think every single positive review is fully deserved. I’d definitely recommend it and I’d definitely go back – it’s worth every minute of the long queues and slightly cramped interior.
Link to their website: www.thegoodeggco.com/