Parr Street, L1
Review by Lawrence Saunders
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – I don’t know about that but it’s certainly my favourite; so when the UK’s first alcohol-free bar, The Brink, revealed it had developed a new breakfast menu I was eager to go along and try it out for myself.
Upon entering the Parr Street venue for the first time, I was immediately put at ease by its laid-back décor and relaxed atmosphere, which was complemented perfectly by a chilled out playlist.
After taking a seat in the corner with my dining partner, our friendly waiter was over in no time at all and was more than happy to answer any questions I had about the new menu. The revamped morning offering features a small but eclectic mix of traditional breakfast favourites such as the Full English and Eggs Benedict alongside more international dishes including pancakes, waffles and the American breakfast.
Gazing over The Brink’s drinks menu I was pleasantly surprised to find a list of healthy smoothies and fresh presses nestled amongst the normal breakfast beverage fare. Names such as Morning Glory, Beet Treat, Green Detox Machine and Roll Your Oats promised to offer the ‘perfect way to start your day’, and I was suitably intrigued to give one a try.
Myself and my breakfast date decided to share an Instant Energizer (£2.45) to start – the orange, carrot and ginger infused smoothie was a delightful way to cleanse our palate before tucking into our ‘mains’.
After consulting with our waiter I chose one of the menu’s new items, the classic Eggs Benedict (£6.50), and was not disappointed. The generously thickly-sliced glazed ham was delightfully sweet whilst the poached hen’s yolk and liberal helping of rich hollandaise sauce left plenty of goodness to mop up with the toasted brioche croute.
My partner plumped for the smoked salmon with scrambled eggs (£6.95). Served on a slice of thick, artisan brown bread; the eggs were cooked to perfection and were seamlessly accompanied by the salmon. The bread on both dishes was a particularly standout element and after speaking with our waiter we were impressed to discover that all the bread is produced daily in the on-site bakery.
It’s clear head chef, Paul Elackman isn’t stingy when it comes to portions, as all three of the dishes we ordered were thankfully nice and large! This was certainly true of our final course, the waffles (£5.95), which came accompanied by a dish of warm fruit compote, maple syrup and banana ice cream. The contrast between the tart compote, sweet waffles and the velvety ice cream was delicately balanced and suitably satisfied my early morning sugar craving.
Even with our plate of waffles, the bill still only came to £21.85, which I thought was more than fair, especially when you consider the substantial portion sizes.
I fully intend to revisit The Brink again very soon and would put it right up there with some of the best breakfast spots in the city.