The Good Egg is a newly-opened café and all-day restaurant in Stoke Newington, north London. Back in the summer I had the pleasure to meet the team behind it for a photoshoot and preview of the menu. Then yesterday I made it all the way to north-east London to sit at the restaurant and try their – already very popular – brunch.
Since opening in November The Good Egg has received accolades from food writers and bloggers. The Evening Standard listed it among the 25 best brunches in London; Grace Dent and Giles Coren liked it; more importantly, there is a queue outside the door every weekend which – apart from the hype – must mean something. In my humble opinion, The Good Egg is really good.
The restaurant is a collaboration between Joel Braham, ex-Ottolenghi baker Oded Mizrachi and chefs Alex Coppard and Myles Broscoe. The Good Egg is not new though, it first appeared in London as a breakfast pop-up by Joel (and supported by food start-up incubator Kitchenette).
I think it was around 2013 when I first heard of The Good Egg and tasted Joel’s shakshuka at an industry event. I have been following Joel’s progress ever since and, when the news of the restaurant opening came out, we met for a food photoshoot. So last June I tasted and photographed some of the dishes that now feature on The Good Egg’s menu: the sabih pita, the bagels, the burger, the roasted cauliflower, and of course the babka. I knew then, that the restaurant would be amazing and successful.
“We source the best ingredients we can find,” says Joel, “smoke our own fish and meats, bake our own hand rolled bagels and breads, and cook beautiful seasonal vegetables with bright, simple flavours. You’ll find homemade dill pickles on our menu next to za’tar fried chicken, pink pastrami short-rib and these delicious Iraqi stuffed egg pitas we tried in Jerusalem.” [Joel Braham for Hot Dinners]
The restaurant, located on one of my favourite streets Stoke Newington Church Street, looks pretty and is full of light (a photographer’s dream). The decor is stripped back, with small tables along the wall; a long bench follows the long wall from the front to the back (where a small courtyard might become a lovely outdoor space in the summer).
On the white brick walls there are shelves full of cookbooks, jars and bottles, crates full of fresh vegetables.
On the opposite wall there is a small cafe corner, the deli counter and the busy open kitchen.
I visited The Good Egg on a Sunday morning at 11am to meet my IG Brunch Club buddies, five Instagram friends I meet once a month to have brunch around London. We were treated to a selection of dishes from the brunch menu, starting with the fantastic cornbread, served with salted honey butter and green chilli zhoug (a Yemenite paste).
I hadn’t eaten anything and travelled for one hour across London, so I quickly inhaled the warm cornbread and a flat white, which prep’d me for the feasting ahead.
Challah French Toast and Date Syrup – with caramelised banana, bacon and sweet dukkah.
Iraqi Aubergine Pita (Sabih) – Tel Aviv-style pita stuffed with egg, fried aubergine, zhoug, mango amba, tahini and house pickles.
Treacle and Orange Cured Trout – with avocado and soft boiled egg.
Shakshuka – baked eggs with with tomato and peppers, with preserved lemon yoghurt & sumac, rare-breed merguez sausage and a challah roll.
To finish off, we had a slice (or three) of Oded’s babka cake.
Babka is a brioche-like cake laden with chocolate and butter, glazed with sugar syrup, and traditionally made in Eastern Europe. It’s become popular in London in recent years thanks to Ottolenghi’s books and restaurants like Honey & Co. I shared a babka recipe on my blog a few years ago and it’s still now one of my most popular posts.
The Good Egg’s coffee (roasted by Volcano) was very good (I had a flat white and a long black); a lot better than I expected from such a busy restaurant so well done to the barista.
I didn’t try the cocktails, but The Independent’s food writer Amol Rajan referred to them as “memorable stuff”.
The food and drinks are reasonably priced, especially considering the location and popularity of the place: £4 for the cornbread, £6.50 for a cocktail, £3.50 for a thick slice of babka, £9 for the shakshuka. So you are not going to spend a fortune on brunch here.
I had a perfectly good time, eating all this delicious food and chatting with my friends. London’s food scene has definitely got a new contender for the top brunch spot in town!
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are my own.