We’ve long heard how Chicken Tikka Masala – or more recently overtaken by Chinese Stir Fry – are Britain’s favourite dishes. Although widely popular for a couple of decades now, there is a traditional British meal that has been enjoying a resurgence in recent years – bangers and mash. I must confess I’ve had a newfound love for mashed potato in recent months – ideally covered in melted margarine – so I was eager to try Mother Mash.
Although they’ve recently opened a second branch in Leadenhall Street in the City, a friend and I visited the original Mother Mash in Ganton Street, Soho. While it does appear to be quite small, the nature of the food and service means there is a quick turnaround so there shouldn’t be a long wait to be seated. The slim restaurant has a simple interior – white tiling, marble tables and dark brown seating with a mix of booths and counter-top to sit at. A friend and I were extremely hungry upon arrival and were glad to be shown to a wooden booth.
The menu is a simple layout – you have a choice of a variety of mashes, then bangers or pies, and then gravy. I must confess being spoiled for choice – the six different mashes all sounded delicious. I eventually opted for the Cheesy Mash, Vegetable and Herb Bangers (vegetarian) and Veggie Gravy (made with seasonal vegetables, tomato purée and horseradish). There was also a range of side orders, so I opted for some shredded, buttered cabbage. Mother Mash is also licensed so I enjoyed a bottle of Bulmers cider. The service was friendly and swift. We were ravenous so were glad our food came so swiftly. The mash potato was perfect – creamy and filling. I thoroughly enjoyed the dish and due to a fix of hunger and it being tasty, it wasn’t long before my plate was clean. The actual food bill came to £8.50 each so very good value indeed. I can highly recommend for both a hearty lunch or dinner.
- Mother Mash, 26 Ganton Street, Soho, W1F 7QZ. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus. For more information and menus, visit the Mother Mash website.
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It has to be said – I love a good brunch. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but I like to sleep in on weekends (when I’m not working that is), so brunch becomes a viable and attractive option by the time I emerge sleepy-eyed from my home. For Mother’s Day, I only had a few hours to spend with my dear ol’ ma (less of the old I’m sure she would say when she reads this!), so we decided to keep it simple and stay local.
Together with my sister and brother-in-law, we headed into East Dulwich and I had list of potential brunch venues to check out, depending on where had availability without a booking or queue. Having parked in the Northcross Road area, a sign for the Blue Brick Cafe caught my eye so we headed straight there. Although we were a party of four and the café looked pretty busy, they were able to accommodate us. The café is an inviting, small corner building with large windows letting in lots of light and attractive blue tiling surrounding the exterior. The café includes around seven tables and features outdoor seating for warmer months. The venue has a vintage, homely feel with old tables and schoolchairs and old bottles decorating the shelves and windowsills.
After sitting down, we were presented with the breakfast menu (vegetarian and vegan), with additional specials on the chalkboard behind us. As it was around 2pm, most of my party were opting for brunches, although my sister fancied the vegetarian risotto from the lunch specials. I ordered the Full Veggie – homemade baked beans, sourdough bread, scrambled eggs, vegetarian sausage, spinach, mushrooms and tomato. Although it was busy, we ended up waiting around 15 minutes for our food, which went quickly as we chatted while sipping our drinks. While most of my party opted for traditional hot drinks like cappuccino and lattes, I ordered the spiced hot apple and elderflower, which was a really tasty drink. When my brunch arrived, my plate was full to the brim with food, which was the perfect portion for me. The food was delicious – I particularly liked the homemade baked beans, you could really taste the difference and it was nice to have spinach included, as so many brunch places don’t offer the vegetable as an option.
Overall, we all enjoyed our brunch – and my sister her lunch of risotto. The service was friendly and swift and the café was a relaxed, quaint place with a nice, local clientele. I must go back and try lunch or dinner.
- Blue Brick Cafe, 14 Fellbrigg Road, East Dulwich, SE22 9HH. Tel: 020 8299 8670. Nearest station: East Dulwich or buses: P13, 40, 176, 185.
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