After a few weeks of too many late nights and early mornings, my body was craving for some really good healthy food – a last minute vitamin hit to help keep me standing for the final push through Christmas. So I went to Brunch with Lunchquest for a fry up at lunchtime. To be fair there may have been some healthy salads or such like on the menu at Brunch but it’s a place where it would be odd not to eat what it says on the tin.
Brunch has been open for a few months on George IV bridge, replacing what was previously Café Lucano. Rather than traditional restaurant signage painted on the outside, they instead have a sort of giant flag roped to the outside with “Brunch” written on it. It gives the impression of a place undergoing refurbishment but given the flag thing has been there for months now it must be the chosen look.
It’s a nice space inside and was fairly busy with tourists when we were there – no surprise given the central location and the menu prices are definitely aimed at this market.
I ordered the main breakfast which, at just shy of £15, felt pretty steep for what was a pretty nondescript Scottish brekkie – all the usual suspects were present: couple of ok sausages, 2 bacon rashers, 2 poached eggs, tattie scone, black pudding, haggis, puny portion of beans and one bit of toast. The poached eggs were the standout items – very nicely done. Otherwise it was standard fare – not too disappointing other than the price and it left me waddling out of the place feeling stuffed.
However, if I want to have an amazing breakfast and one that won’t break the bank my recommendation would be Bluebird Café at Canonmills – the full breakfast is a winner and the buttermilk pancakes are out of this world.
Brunch: a compromise word for a compromise meal. Despite my repeated assertions to the contrary, apparently it is not a meal between breakfast and lunch but (shamefully) a notion that’s supposed to conflate the two into one.
You can imagine my enthusiasm for a new place, where Lucano used to trade, called by that name. The name has form for being a pretty bad thing to name your place, also.
I was joined by regular guest quester Dan. Dan is often employed when the location shows signs of being a bit ropey. This wasn’t the case on this occasion as name objections aside the place looked like it might be half decent.
The menu focussed on breakfast items, hot sandwiches and burgers. We both chose from the first with Dan opting for the big breakfast (£13.95) while I chose their eggs Benedict. As per their option I added three items (£7.95 in total) to the basic eggs, muffin and hollandaise, settling upon bacon, eggs and haggis.
Pricing is clearly bit skew-whiff but that aside the dishes we had were pretty good. My egg dish was substantial and hearty. The elements could have been of better quality but I was generally pretty impressed.
Dan was reasonably pleased with his fare, too, although the pricetag smarted and put the place into the tourist trap bracket, which is perhaps harsh comment.
So overall, I liked Brunch a lot more than I expected to. The food was decently good. I think they need to level off their pricing to more obviously declare towards the local or tourist market. But even if you feel pocket-stung you’ll be fairly well fed here.
Blythe scores Brunch
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s questers were: Dan, Blythe
We ate: big breakfast; eggs Benedict with haggis, black pudding, bacon
We drank: coffees, water
Total bill: £25.95
Address: 37-39 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL