It feels like a while since I’ve blogged about a brunch spot* but after visiting this place I couldn’t not – it was just so good. Sunday is an independent neighbourhood café and restaurant, so ‘neighbourhood-like’ that they don’t even have a website, which seems almost unheard of in this day and age (I know – I sound so old!).
They’re based in the beautiful area of Islington and are open throughout the day from Tuesday – Sunday, serving up an incredible range of dishes and I can quite honestly say that it’s possibly the best brunch I’ve had in a seriously long time. I think the last time I left a brunch place feeling so satisfied it was after The Good Egg, and I absolutely love that place!
The first thing that hit me was the size of the queue! Being an absolute brunch fanatic I’m used to queueing – pretty much all of my favourite brunch spots don’t take reservations – but the queue at this place was next level! It’s pretty small inside, though definitely not the smallest I’ve been to, and there must have been about 15 people in front of us. Probably more by the time their friends joined – cue grumbling and the inevitable ‘should they be allowed to join the queue or be forced to go to the back’ debate, Meat Liquor style! (I’m not sure I have particularly strong feelings either way – it can be annoying when you’re behind them but I have plenty of friends who are guaranteed to be late, so I’ve been that person waiting in the queue plenty of times!).
Anyway, the size of the queue, and the fact that no one actually gave up on waiting to go and try somewhere else (curse them!) was the first sign that it was probably going to be a good experience, and God was it worth that queue!
When we finally got in we were sharing a table for 4 with other couple (surprisingly less awkward than we anticipated as they didn’t’ speak English!).. and we were right next to the counter. Their counter is insane! It’s piled high with pastries and cakes – a ridiculously big selection given its size! On the day we went there four types of pastry (including a glorious almond croissant which helped to relieve the hanger whilst queuing!), Aztec cookies (which were absolute fist-sized monsters!) as well as several cakes and loaf cakes. They serve good seriously coffee too – I think their beans are Ozone Coffee Roasters, but don’t quote me on that!
Their menu, like their cake selection, is remarkably extensive given its size. Pretty much every item is unique or exciting too – not only did I not even entertain the idea of ordering avocado toast (I’m not even sure if plain avocado toast is an option here!), I don’t even think it made it into contention (and I’m usually left trying to narrow down 5 or more dishes!).
I saw the courgette fritters come out time and time again and they’re clearly a popular option but for me the corn fritters seemed much more exciting – despite having the same name they aren’t variations on a similar item! While the courgette fritters are just fried courgette batons, the corn fritters are typical corn fritters (like mini savoury pancakes) and I can confidently say they’re the best I’ve ever had. Thick and tasty, they actually held their shape unlike so many other fritters I’ve had that have been flat, soggy and disintegrate before you have any chance of getting them on a fork. They came with kiln smoked salmon (a piece, not slices as I was expecting!), an avocado sliced so perfectly that I could practically hear Instagrammers nodding with approval, tomato, crème fraiche and a delicious chutney-type chilli jam, and of course I had to add a poached egg. Talk about a perfect plate of food!
Marcus went for the Turkish eggs. Perhaps not his wisest move in hindsight – I think he was expecting shakshuka, but had I known that was what he was after I’d have advised him against the Turkish eggs – they came out exactly how I’d have expected. Except they did have avocado as an addition, which I guess was even more miserable for him as he hates the stuff! That said, he loved the sausages and it came with hot buttered sourdough toast, so I think he was still pretty happy despite his poor choice of dish (usually it’s me that orders badly and he insists on swapping!).
For sides we got sourdough with spreads and cornbread, which came in huge slabs, complete with garlic butter, chilli, and buttery corn kernels. I’m a complete sucker for cornbread, and I order it almost everywhere I go if I see it on the menu, but this was the best I’d had for a long time. Warm, thick and both sweet and savoury it was impossible to find fault with it! Sourdough might be a boring side of choice for a lot of people, but I am carb-obsessed (specifically bread!) and since my dish didn’t come with any I wasn’t going to have brunch without it! It came piled high with butter, and a little pot of jam on the side and it was some seriously good sourdough.
Whatever you do, make sure you leave space for their sweet options. It’s no easy feat given how generous their portions are and how many amazing sides they have that you won’t want to miss (corn bread, corn fritters, almonds croissants – trust me you’ll want them all!) but their pancakes are something else. I was even tempted by their French toast (and to be honest I’m not usually a French toast fan!) but theirs comes piled high with thick slices of brioche, vanilla crème fraiche, banana and salted caramel – could that sound any more perfect!?
Quite literally the only thing I can find to complain about is queue. They don’t take bookings, they’re far out so it’s not the easiest option to decide to go somewhere else if it’s too busy and there are very few tables inside but trust me when I say it is most definitely worth the wait – I’ll be going back no matter how long that damn queue is!
* Okay since drafting this I have written about Duck & Waffle, but that’s more breakfast, lunch, dinner.. and everything in between! 😀