When it comes to brunch, us Londoners are very fortunate to have a variety of choices. On a cold and grey Easter Saturday morning, we decided to check out Lantana, an eatery inspired by the Australian cafe culture. It has been an institution since 2008 so I think we are probably coming a bit late into the scene. But sometimes it’s nice to go back to places that were the hottest and trendiest new places in town a few years ago, and to see if they still maintain the quality and interest from the crowds after the initial euphoria is over.
I am happy to say it does!
It was packed when we arrived but after a short wait outside, we were swiftly taken to our tables. Most of the dining is upstairs though it does have a large communal table downstairs, where it’s much warmer as it’s next to the kitchen . So if you don’t care much for an outside view, I would recommend asking for that table, as it gives you a chance to feast your eyes on what’s cooking in the Lantana kitchen.
We immediately ordered our favourite hot drink – a Long Black – while trying to decide what to have for brunch.
Husband went for the English muffin with sausage patty, bacon, fried egg, hollandaise butter, smoked cheddar, spinach and chilli jam. He also added a side portion of an avocado to make it a bit healthier. Though this dish had all my favourite ingredients, it was perhaps a bit too meaty for my personal taste and I didn’t fancy eating so much meat as part of my first proper meal of the day. On the other hand, Husband seemed to not mind at all and he quite happily devoured the whole thing, except the bacon which isn’t his scene. I was the lucky recipient of his bacon!
For my choice, I first decided to go for the corn fritters as it seemed a healthier option. However at the last moment, I changed my mind and decided to go for the Asian duck rice with pancetta, fried egg, cucumber, coriander, crispy shallot and chilli jam. My dish when it came out looked stunning on the plate. The different components added a varied dimension to the dish – like the chilli jam added a sweet but fiery note, and the crispy shallots added texture which went down well with the egg yolk.
But overall I was slightly disappointed with my dish. It came over-seasoned and the duck was probably bit too rich for a brunch choice. The whole dish begged for a chilled glass of white wine alongside and with black coffee, it just didn’t work for me. However I would attribute that to my personal choice rather than their cooking.
I would love to try Lantana a second time round, but this time I will try and stick to the classic brunch options such as the corn fritters (which indeed looked delicious as I lovingly admired the tables of my fellow diners ) or the French toast with bacon which seemed very popular as well!
Overall, Lantana is a good pit stop for brunch. It has good atmosphere and the staff are causal and friendly. Dishes are around £11-£13 each (without any extra sides),so it makes for good value for money.