This weekend I continued my search for the best places to enjoy a weekend brunch in London. I had been a little apprehensive about trying Salvation Jane despite it's convenient location ( just off Old Street roundabout) and the creative, fresh sounding menu, in its Australian roots not too dissimilar to that of my other favourite London brunch haunts. Why the apprehension? Salvation Jane is in fact the sister restaurant of Lantana in Fitzrovia, an essentially longer established and smaller version of Salvation Jane with a near identical menu. When I started university it was one my favourite places to spent a Saturday morning but increasingly rude service and the rather crammed atmosphere slowly saw me seek out new places and climaxed in one of the waiters there spilling coffee all over my dress without apology. Suffice to say I did not have the best memories of the place.
Thank god Salvation Jane proved to be a very different and positive experience compared to Lantana. In spacious surroundings and with ample outside seating space, it has the airy and unhurried eating environment that Lantana lacks. Prices may be slightly higher than at other comparable brunch cafes (mains do tend to crack the ten pound mark) but they are executed and presented beautifully. My corn fritters with avocado chili salsa, creme fraiche, roast tomatoes and an extra side of chili jam, were light, tasty and one of the only savoury brunch options I would be enticed by enough to order instead of my usual sweet treats to start the day. It's clear that thought and attention to detail have gone into a menu that takes brunch classics and adds a certain Antipodean twists to them, be it their organic ham hock, chorizo and roast pepper baked beans with spinach, chili cornbread and poached eggs or the toasted coconut French toast with ricotta, lime syrup and pistachios. It is also a vegetarian's paradise with most menu items coming in a meatless alternative, indeed my corn fritters also available with that breakfast classic that is bacon if you desire. Service can be a little disinterested and confused at times but the standard of food and laid back atmosphere make up for that. Brunch is served at weekends from early in the morning until 3pm, making it the perfect place to cure a hangover and a place where every time you go you can explore a little more of the diverse and seasonally changing menu.