With brunch and more specifically, crushed avocado becoming all the rage among Londoners and the rest of the UK, it’s become a real mission to separate the wheat from the chaff (a popular vegan dish somewhere I’m sure) with regards to picking a venue.
I mean, how DO you differentiate one eggs benedict from another? Do you go for views or food quality? Have they got a bottomless option and ultimately, how bottomless are they?
Welcome to the first edition of The Date Night Review’s brunch blogs. For all the Bellini lovers and shakshuka addicts out there, this one’s for you…
Exmouth Market Grind
What: A Restaurant
When: Mon – Wed: 8am – 11pm / Thurs – Fri: 8am – Midnight / Sat: 9am – 11pm / Sun: 9am – 7pm
Where: Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell
How much: Food: £3-14, Cocktails £8.50
When I discovered this little restaurant nestled in the lovely Exmouth Market, it went by the name of Cafe Pistou but since January it has become the newest to The Grind & Co.’s portfolio who have 9 other venues across Soho, Holborn, London Bridge, Covent Garden and Royal Exchange.
We initially found Exmouth Market Grind for a birthday brunch, where our search criteria were simple: bottomless bubbles on a budget (less than a £15 upgrade) and a roughly equidistant location between those in attendance. It fit the bill perfectly.
Without doing too much research into the actual food (because let’s face it, in most cases eating is cheating) we headed down to the pedestrianised streets of Exmouth Market, where our quaint looking destination sat waiting for us on the corner.
It’s worth mentioning that The Grind & Co. are known for their coffee; in fact, they opened a state-of-the-art roastery in Shoreditch in 2016. So if you’re feeling a little ropey shall we say, definitely treat yourself to a nice cappuccino or perhaps an espresso martini before getting on the bubbles.
Once you do, you have an hour and a half to continuously reach the bottom of your glass which despite what we thought prior to getting a little too merry, is more than enough time. The staff are smiley, friendly and hugely attentive with regards to both the food and drinks throughout your stay which always makes for a more pleasant experience.
The venue itself is light and airy with grey marble tables and exposed brickwork, painted white. While it is predominantly a restaurant, there is a bar in the centre if you just fancied a drink or two but if not, I’d recommend trying to get a window seat for the added extra of people watching.
Foodwise, everything is very reasonably priced (£6 fruit – £10 full English) and beautifully presented. It’s not too fancy, but at the same time, it doesn’t pretend to be. The breakfasts aren’t greasy or overly filling, the poached eggs are runny and the desserts like the French banana toast are delicious.
Their brunch menu is served until 5pm with breakfast finishing at 12pm. There is an all day menu as well which is served from 12pm until close.
It might not be as well connected as some of the other Grind branches (nearest tube is Farringdon), but there are buses nearby and Exmouth Market itself is lined with lots of cute places to explore before eating and pubs to stumble into after you’ve maximised your bubble intake.
Please note the dangers of day drinking on your ability to party on for your best friend’s birthday. I failed. Sorry, Cat.
✓ Bottomless means bottomless – we even ran over our allotted time
✓ Cheap and cheerful
✓ Modern decor with lots of light AND tables outside
✓ Good spot for birthday / hangover brunches in a lovely area of London
✘ The One-pan eggs (pictured above) were a bit bland
✘ There is a part of the restaurant with no windows – make sure you request a table outside it!
✘ Not super easy to get to
☆ 8.5/10 ☆
Overall, the lively atmosphere, decor, great staff and tasty food make The Exmouth Market Grind a tremendous choice for a catch-up or birthday celebration.