Cast your bowl of soggy porridge aside and come take a look at the most exciting breakfast dishes the London restaurant scene has to offer right now, along with recipes to re-create them at home with:
Breakfast in Bread at the Barge House, Haggerston
Breakfast is no longer just about what you eat, but how you eat it. And the race is on to find the most mind-blowing mode of presentation possible for the humble English fry-up. South African hot spot Bunnychow launched an impressive bid with its full-English-in-brioche dish, nicknamed "the Bunny".
The bread is then heaped with slow-roast tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, leeks, Cumberland sausage, bacon, cheese and an egg. The Barge House team suggests you wash it all down with one of their Bloody Marys, infused with cucumber, rosemary or chili.
As far as making it at home is concerned, the closest we can get to this dish are these rather fabulous breakfast in a bap delights, comprising bacon, egg, tomato and mushroom served up in a crispbread crust.
English Breakfast Udon at Koya, Soho
The surge in Vietnamese and Korean food in London has brought with it a renewed appetite for breakfast noodles. Hip noodle hangout Koya Bar, in Soho, takes it one step further by cooking up English-Japanese fusion breakfasts.
These intriguing hybrid meals offer a clean-living alternative to the time-honoured grease fest of a full English.
Fried egg and rashers of bacon come balanced within a bowl of thick Udon noodles, bathed in miso soup and a smattering of shiitake mushrooms.
Or you can choose the Udon kedgeree option, with smoked haddock , poached egg and curry. More adventurous gourmands may also be tempted by "Kinoko"; Udon noodles with porridge and mushrooms.
For your own homemade version, give this bacon and egg Yakiudon recipe a whirl.
Sugar-cured prawn omelette at Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell
As seen above, fusion food is back and affecting breakfast. No longer a byword for dubious mish-mash cuisine, it now denotes versatility of ingredients and experiential flavours. Although as this article explains, chefs now prefer to refer to it as "modern" or "hybrid" rather than fusion.
No-one embraces this trend more voraciously than Anna Hansen, of Clerkenwell-based cult classic The Modern Pantry.
Canadian-born chef Hansen draws together a myriad of tastes, textures and aromas in her globally-inspired menu and her eye for a colourful dish comes into play especially well in the breakfast section.
The sugar-cured prawn omelette with smoked chilli sambal is one of The Modern Pantry's signature breakfast dishes. "I moved on to the idea of sugar–curing prawns as you would a piece of salmon or beef fillet but with an Asian influence," Hansen says. "Finally I tossed them into a frying–pan, where they were transformed into the delicious, sweet and slightly crunchy caramelised morsels that became the centrepiece of the sugar–cured prawn omelette."
You can find Hansen's exact recipe here.
Babka at Honey & Co., Warren Street
Ever since Yotam Ottolenghi set his sights on the UK restaurant scene, Middle Eastern cuisine has been huge here. Freekah, the Middle Eastern grain, is set to overtake quinoa as the healthy fare of choice this year. And Babkallah - a babka/challah fusion - is being touted as the new Cronut.
Personally, we love the idea of breakfast Babka at Warren Street restaurant Honey & Co. This life-affirming bake was brought to our attention by a Stylist reader, who mentioned it as one of her all-time favourite breakfasts in the UK.
This cosy Israeli cafe is run by husband-and-wife team Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. Packer trained as a pastry chef under Ottolenghi and the morning Babka cake, made with flakes of chocolate, cinnamon and hazelnut, is to-die-for. Get it while it's hot, with a cup of coffee on the side.
Find a chocolate Babka recipe, "laden with chocolate, butter and old world charm", right here.
Shakshuka at Nopi, Soho
Talking of Ottolenghi, his Warwick Street restaurant Nopi is a great place to chow down some of the best Shakshuka the capital has to offer. This Middle Eastern meets North African dish (also known as Moroccan baked eggs) is all the rage right now, with foodies debating over the plethora of variations that have evolved according to region, custom and personal taste.
The basics comprise a spicy tomato stew with baked eggs, and hunks of freshly baked flat bread to mop it up with.
After that, it's up to you; as Ottolenghi explains: "The sauces vary in spiciness, sweetness and sharpness. You can add preserved lemon to your shakshuka, harissa paste, olives or a salty ewe's cheese. A spicy sausage – such as merguez or chorizo – is also suitable."
And if you needed any further incentive, this is also a great sharing dish for a long, lazy brunch with friends.
There are so many Shakshuka recipes available on t'internet, so you can really play around with different ingredients. This version uses harissa paste and jalapeño chillies or click here for one of Ottolenghi's recipes.
(photo above via munchmyway.wordpress.com)
What do you think? What breakfast trends do you love and which recipes are setting your world on fire right now? Share your thoughts in the comments section below
Words: Anna Brech