Malmaison Hotel Brunch, Barbican
As I’m writing this, brunch memories have come flooding back to me and I’ve got the food sweats already.
Recently, the Malmaison Hotel invited me to go along and try their new brunch service, priced at £19.95 each. I thought the same thing: Brunch for twenty quid? To justify that, it better be pretty special, surely?!
Along we went, hungover on a Sunday morning, lacking make-up and energy and needing coffee and food.
As soon as we walked in, that price tag was immediately justified to the pair’ve us. It’s an absolutely beautiful, highly luxurious boutique hotel with an interior design to die for. The dining room is calm, warm and very cosy. It’s a bit like sitting inside a giant womb -but less disgusting, more exquisite and comforting. There’s a rich smell of coffee and pancakes in the air, as we sit at our wonderfully-laid table -all white napkins and tablecloths, silver cutlery and gleaming china.
Then we embarked on a ground-breaking culinary battle which, at one point was so challenging, I wasn’t sure if I’d succeed. Twenty quid it may be, but this is a six course brunch. Here’s a blow by blow account of our courses…
Pre-Pre-starter: Cauliflower soup with truffle oil
I could just have eaten this all day. The sentence most uttered, in between scoffs and slurps and panick-eating before someone took it away, was: “My God, who knew soup could be so damn good?!”
Pre-Starter: Cured Meats/Quiches/Salmon
I’m a lover of all of these things. The salmon was fresh and juicy and literally flaked apart -also, incredibly flavoursome. The quiches were supremely tasty and light as air. The cured meats were perfect. What can go wrong with cured meat?
Starter: Waffles with berries and syrup
Freshly prepared as and when they’re ordered. Best waffles I’ve ever had. No, really.
Post Starter: Crepes with chocolate and fruit
Again, freshly knocked up in front of you -there’s a ‘Chef’s table’ in the dining room where all of the above are presented and prepared. At this point, having eaten four starters, I was starting to understand how Russell Crowe’s Maximus Decimus Meridius must have felt when fighting for his life in Gladiator.
Main Course: Mal Burger and Chips (me) / Beef Roast dinner with fresh veg (My plus one)
More fantastic food. Big portions, fresh and tasty. No grease. Nice and hot. Full marks.
Dessert: Sticky toffee pudding (me) / Hot chocolate (my plus one)
The hot chocolate is one to watch out for. If you LOVE chocolate and sickly sweet desserts, this is for you. Literally a cup of pure melted chocolate with a side of about twenty Marshmallows and other paraphenalia to throw in it. My pudding was also bloody great.
Two cocktails and tea accompanied.
Total: £19.95 each.
I was pretty blown away by the Malmaison brunch. I came away thinking what an absolute ruddy bargain it was, whilst making a mental note of all the people I want to take there for a special occasion Sunday morning feast.
Ten out of ten. Needless to say, we didn’t eat a single thing for the rest of the day.
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