We semi-regularly have brunch at Smiths of Smithfield, so hedged some safe bets on ‘the other one’ by John Torrode for breakfast with friends as the same kind of category-defying crowd pleasing fusion. The Luxe is crammed into the space formerly occupied by and old favourite cafe-bar in Spitalfields, and was doing a roaring trade before the market had even opened – we were offered a seat in the cold outside by the abrupt front-of-house but opted to wait with tea on some sinking comfy leather sofas. We waited. Eventually we interrupted a harassed waitress who informed us we would have to fetch our own tea from the bar as ‘this is just the waiting area’. So I waited some more at the bar. After 5 minutes I interrupted a barman who was doing his damndest to ignore me. He took my money and I waited. Thoughtless barman hadn’t thought to mention that the service stretched to taking tea to our waiting place. By now those scrambled eggs had some apologising to do for the staff.
We eventually comandeered a table enclosed between a sofa, a wall and a pushchair ahead of some hawkeyed newcomers. The menu was somewhat akin to the favourites at Smiths, but on enquiring about option for me the waiter admitted ‘there really isn’t that much for you’ among the sourdough toasts and pancakes. He offered to make something up for me so I opted for scrambled eggs with salmon & mushrooms – sadly corn fritters were a no go. These brunch places really do need to sort out some kind of carbs for us hungover sunday morning coeliacs! Thankfully my scrambled eggs were top notch, and there was plenty of salmon. The only thing lacking (apart from the carbs) was some properly ground black pepper. Oh, and some decent service.