Bites: A pick of the brunch bunch
Saturday 09 November 2002
Bank, 4 Brindley Place, Birmingham (0121-633 4466)
Primary colours and postmodern lines. Bank belongs to Birmingham's new breed of sleek places to eat. Its pedigree is guaranteed by Bank restaurants in London, and chef Christian Delteil's direction of the menus. Cooking's of the smart brasserie variety and is especially strong on fish, but they make breakfast and brunch their business. From an omelette or salt-cod fritters, through full English breakfast to chargrilled tuna from 11am on Saturday and Sunday.
Providores and Tapa Room, 109 Marylebone High Street, London W1 (020-7935 6175)
Providores sounds like a Spanish grocer, but it's New Zealanders Peter Gordon and Anna Hansen's upstairs dining room in Marylebone. The Tapa Room beneath isn't Spanish either, but named after a Tongan bark wall hanging. Midweek it serves the amazing round-the-world-in-80-ways brunch; at weekends it's available on both floors. Brown rice, apple and miso porridge; Turkish eggs; sweet potato, mushroom and paprika tortilla are dishes that give fusion a good name. Plus they do a mean fry-up.
riverstation, The Grove, Bristol (0117 914 4434)
There are walls of glass and a touch of class at this modish but relaxed first-floor dining room in a converted river patrol HQ overlooking the water. It makes a smart vantage point for the full brunch works on Saturday, and brunchy alternatives to the Sunday lunch menu of mod European food. Pancakes with maple syrup and smoked bacon are a fixture; panna cotta a lovely pud. Sunday lunch is £12.75 for two courses.
Wapping Food, Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall, London E1 (020-7680 2080)
As decommissioned power stations turned galleries go, it's overshadowed by the Tate Modern, but this is the better place to eat (the art's often great, too). The remaining machinery doesn't get in the way of seating and serving of deliciously unfussy food with an Antipodean bent. The wine list is entirely Australian. Brilliant for breakfast and brunch when there's eggs scrambled, royale and Benedict, buttermilk pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup, kedgeree, and smoked kippers. And you can park outside.
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