Some restaurants ought to have warning signs at their entrances. This might make you fat. This might cause grievous injury. You might find your future wife here. I found all of these were applicable to Lantana.
Addressing the first point you will have to read the below. With regards to the second issue, it seemed that the serving staff were in a bit of a hurry today. So much so that when rushing to set the table next to me, the waiter impaled my foot with a dropped fork. Good thing I was wearing my hiking boots this day in prepeartion for an afternoon stroll. It duly glanced off without sinking into the flesh beneath. In respect to the last comment, I should have known from my visit to the Modern Pantry that brunch was very much the preserve of the fairer sex. Dressed in fancy wear, so obviously just out from a fashionable weekend yoga class, I thought that this was another venue I should recommend to my single friends.
To start in such an environment that is far from my comfort zone, I needed some liquid courage. Unfortunately, this was not something to necessarily shout about.
Cold drip coffee. Sadly lacking in flavour, it just tasted like smashed flat substandard coffee beans.
Latte. Only slightly better. From such uninspired beginnings, we hoped that things would be better.
In any case, before thoughts of lackluster beverages could sink further into my unconsciousness and so colour the entire meal, the food arrived.
Corn fritters stacked with streaky bacon, fresh spinach, roast tomatoes, smashed avocado & lemon crème fraiche. According to my dining companion, the corn fritters were good. I thought they were ok. She later admitted that her exuberance may have been due to her pressing need for sustenance. She was hungry… I found the other bits and pieces to be ok but my dish was better.
Smashed avocado three ways on sourdough with poached egg, labneh, hazelnut dukkah, and courgette & fresh herb salad with bacon. My smashed flat food was better. I particularly enjoyed the bacon. Crisp and with only a touch of oil, this was what bacon was supposed to be. I’m not so sure about the cucumber strips though. Seems a bit too artsy for me. Lacking in flavour too. The avocado was ok but could do with a bit more ripening. The bacon though was so very dangerous. I could have eaten that all day long.
Chocolate cake. It was the cakes where Lantana did better. This was spongy, bouncy and topped with just enough sugar. The real icing on the cake here.
Carrot cake. I guess they did really save the best for last. I think this is the best carrot cake that I’ve had in London. The delicately candied orange rind, the thick icing on top and the moist loaf underneath combined to almost make me think I had discovered the reason why this place is so popular. Especially as unusually for a brunch place, it seemed to be 30% composed of the male variety. Maybe they are all here for the bacon and carrot cake. Well, at least that is what I would come for.
If you are in need of company (both food and hip, fashionable people) this is definitely the place to be on a Saturday morning. With delightful sugary cakes and rather more healthy mains, it strikes an interesting balance between appeasing weight control and taste satisfaction. Although this cafe has yet to convince me that brunch is a proper meal for the day. Maybe I will get there if the second warning did not happen to me. Yet some of my friends should probably drop by for the third reason. No names of course.
A quiet eating 6.5/10.
Lunch (2 courses) was GBP15 excluding drinks and service.
Unit 2, 1 Oliver’s Yard,
55 City Rd,
London, EC1Y 1HQ