We were recently invited to review the weekend brunch menu at Donnelly’s, under the direction of James Donnelly. This is my second time sampling the food coming out of James’s kitchen; the first time, I was at his residency at Louie Louie and was really impressed by his culinary creations.
He has now moved on to Bermondsey Bar and Kitchen, where he is the resident chef. We were invited to review their brunch menu on a sunny late Saturday morning.
In terms of space, the restaurant sits inside a large span building with under-the-arch aesthetics. They have a huge beer garden at the front and a small alfresco section as well.
This former underground car park is quite spacious inside, with natural light flooding in from the large windows.
Inside, there are various configurations of chairs and tables to suit different group sizes. The sheer size of the space means that you can host different activities without necessarily spilling onto each other. This place is great for brunching in big groups. When we were visiting, there were a few groups celebrating birthdays. We also had lots of families with babies on high chairs, so clearly this space is family friendly too.
Over a glass of Prosecco for myself and a Bloody Mary for Kris, we perused the menu. The Bloody Mary was quite well made, with enough of a kick to wake your senses on a sleepy Saturday morning.
We ordered the Donnelly’s Breakfast | Sausage, Maple Bacon, Bubble and Squeak, Black Pudding, Mushrooms, Beans, Toast, Fried Eggs.
This was their version of the mighty English breakfast. It came loaded and was a perfect weekend brunch / hangover curing kind of dish; generously portioned but not ridiculously huge. Every ingredient on the plate was of the freshest quality. The bubble and squeak in particular was very flavoursome and stood out for me the most.
The second dish of 35 Day aged Galloway Bavette Steak | Fried Arlington White Egg , Fries was a great choice and I highly recommend it. The heavenly combination of soft, vividly orange egg yolk oozing into the meaty juices of the steak was a thing of pure joy.
At first, I wasn’t too keen on the Pickled Beetroot, Chicory, English Peas & Broad Beans, Roast Courgettes, Bermondsey Honey, Beauvale Blue. But I was pleasantly surprised how vibrant and fresh it was. The various textures and flavour worked very well together and it was a healthy option on the table to the otherwise meat and carb-heavy brunch dishes.
After three savoury dishes, we were craving something sweet, so the Brioche French Toast | Red Wine Poached English Strawberries, Jersey Clotted Cream was a perfect choice for that.
The brioche was drenched in all that lovely syrup. The only minor niggle was the the addition of clotted cream, which wasn’t sweet enough to balance the eggy bread and the sharpness from the strawberries.
We were really impressed with the hearty brunch dishes on the table. The weekend brunch menu had a good selection of classics, as well as some innovative sounding dishes to cater to a diverse audience. Most items were in the range of £7- £11. It is definitely a solid destination for those seeking their weekend brunch fix.
Location : 40 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 3UD
Nearest station : London Bridge
Disclaimer : Our meal was complimentary and I was under no obligation to write this blog post. All photos and opinions are mine.