Once upon a sunny September Sunday, I had the joy of a late summer brunch with a very generous pour of bottomless bubbles at Cafe Pistou in Exmouth Market. Sadly, Pistou’s warm pain au chocolats and excellent croque madames are now long gone, but when one door closes…there is now a Grind in its place. And I’m pleased to confirm that the Exmouth Market Grind fills the boots of brunches of Pistou past admirably.
With a brunch menu designed around mostly smaller dishes, this is the perfect place to take a group of friends and order everything to try to share. The atmosphere was buzzing on our visit, filled with big tables of friends laughing over their filled champagne coupes. The marble tables laid with pale pink and grey menus make this an extremely photogenic brunch to partake in, and a neon sign demanding you ‘Don’t Just Stare At It, Eat It’ completes the signature Grind Instagrammability in style.
But, you know, don’t just stare at it…no problems there, because the food here is too good to stare at it too long. Chorizo and smoked cheese croquettes (£5.50) were just as delicious as they sound: rich with cheese and chunks of spicy sausage in them, perfectly golden on the outside. I had my eye on the sprout spring salad with goats cheese (£5) but sadly they’d run out by the time we ordered – surely a good sign. Being the cliche I am, I also had smashed avo on sourdough with chilli and poached eggs, adding feta to the mix after a big debate between that or bacon (£8.50). Luckily for me my friend L, ordered a side of bacon with her meal but found it too salty, letting me at it – super crispy, it was just the way I like it. The poached eggs were perfectly done with the brightest of orange runny yolks oozing out at the slightest nudge. The wild mushroom hash with harissa (£6) got full marks from L though noted it would have been easier to eat from a plate than a bowl.
Speaking of, there are ‘bowls’ on the menu, with nut granola with agave and winter fruits, porridge and coconut soaked oats with nuts and seeds on offer for those who are inclined to be more health conscious at brunch. On the other end of the spectrum there’s a full English, cheeseburger and a brilliant sounding eggs benedict on the menu with wild boar and chilli.
Obviously, we left room for afters, L getting the creme brûlée (£3.50) which was smooth with a lemon twist to it, whilst I got the chocolate hazelnut parfait with espresso streusel (£6). The latter was excellent, with layers of different textures topped off with sea salt to give it extra depth. Of course, brunch these days wouldn’t be complete without a consistent flow of prosecco, and I’m very much a fan of Grind’s styling: the menu lists this option as “Bottomless prosecco, seriously” – and it’ll only set you back £12 each. What are you waiting for? Grab some friends and get down to Grind. Seriously.
8-10 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QA
+44 20 3019 7709
Bottomless prosecco, seriously, also available at Clerkenwell Grind, 2-4 Old St, London, EC1V 9AA
+44 20 3019 7177
Bottomless brunch for 2 came to £30pp.