Bean Scene at Cargo Bar in Addington is a busy cafe that attracts a steady flow of custom from the nearby office buildings.
Their pretentiously described Eggs Benedict on the menu perhaps imagines the dish on a slightly higher pedestal than it actually resides.
“Poached eggs, battered spinach, hashbrown and hollandaise served on a toasted french batard”
Battered spinach? I had visions of deep-fried tempura spinach that has no place on, or in the remote vicinity of my Eggs Benny, ever.
But no, battered spinach, it would seem, is just chef talk for wilted spinach that maybe, just maybe has been bashed with something hard before cooking. What that would achieve – I’m not so sure.
The dish was served within 10 minutes, which is always a bonus for breakfast on the go. The first thing that struck me was the vivid yellow of the hollandaise – so thick and the colour of a good free-range egg yolk. It made the whole dish look like a plastic presentation meal they have in the windows of some Asian restaurants.
But it also looked inviting – I knew that sauce was going to be rich and tangy, just the way I like it.
Served with two nicely toasted pieces of batard (baguette), the meal had been stacked to give it some height, which i understand from an aesthetic point of view, but it proved to make this meal a chore to eat.
One piece of bread on the bottom with a generous serving of “battered” spinach, another piece of bread on top with the (adequately cooked and slightly crispy) bacon, both eggs and sauce on top of that one piece of bread.
This meant, if I wanted to get a bit of everything in every mouthful, I had to first dismantle all the elements and reassemble the dish to my liking, i.e. an egg, on bacon, on spinach, on bread times two.
And why go to the effort of presenting a cheffy-looking Eggs Benny when you then go and shove a cheap triangle hashbrown on the side (propped up on the edge of the bread to dress it up a bit). Sure, it tasted fine, but homemade hash isn’t hard or expensive to make, and freezes very well.
There were also a couple of spots of balsamic dripped onto the plate for effect. It was a nice effect, but with that minute amount, it was a visual thing only.
The eggs were ever so slightly overdone, with the outer yolk being firm but the middle still nice and runny. The hollandaise lived up to its promise and provided that perfect contrasting flavour hit to the rest of the elements – most satisfying.
I wasn’t unhappy with the dish – it passed the taste test quite nicely. But a simplified menu description would have saved some overall confusion.
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