If, like us, you’re obsessed with the time-warp-movie-set-brasserie-style-dining-hall that is Brasserie Zedel in Piccadilly, listen up: we’ve sniffed out a new spot in North London that’s been dreamt up by the same brains.
Bellanger is a cavernous bistro sitting right on the green between Islington’s Essex Road and Upper Street. Walking inside is like being transported into the heart of 1930s Paris. The plush dining hall, flawlessly smooth staff (the maître d’ knew us by name!), and bustle of the restaurant gives you the same buzz you get when you walk into Brasserie Zedel. We take a seat in a booth overlooking the main section of the dining room and admire some of the bistro’s four-legged patrons (in true French style, it’s doggy-friendly here… hooray!) as we choose from the brunch menu.
We’ve been invited to try the Bloody Mary brunch, so that seems like a good place to start. You have the option of choosing from one of their house blends or heading up to the bar to create your own. Obviously, we choose the latter. We’re whisked through the process in a style that’s as much theatre as it is craft, and end up with two subtly different and equally delicious Bloody Mary cocktails – one containing Dijon mustard and lime, the other containing English mustard and lemon to cut through the extra saltiness of the English powdered stuff. Both are lovely, packing a punch that’s guaranteed to KO a hangover in an instant.
Now that we’ve built up an appetite, we look to the food. The waitress recommends that day’s special, which is lobster eggs benedict. No further information needed. It arrives as delicious we’d dreamed it would be – a perfectly-cooked tail of lobster, borderline pornographic ooze of egg yolk and silky, thick Hollandaise sitting proudly on a toasted English muffin. This truly is a breakfast of champions. As well as this show of absolute decadence, we opt for caramelised banana and chocolate pancakes, which are light and fluffy, stacked neatly with their filling and positively dripping in toffee.
We leave charmed, full, content and looking forward to booking in a return visit. Bellanger’s Bloody Mary brunch is hosted on the first Sunday of every month, but you can enjoy their regular brunch there every weekend as well as lunch and dinner throughout the week.
We The Food Snobs x