Bottomless Brunch at Bobby Fitzpatrick review: delectably retro
Usually known for its creative rum cocktails and pizzas, Bobby Fitzpatrick, on West Hampstead’s buzzing West End Lane, is now serving bottomless brunch.
The restaurant is a fully committed replica of a 70s “party pad”, with lashings of bamboo, faded print wallpaper, faux-mahogany everything, and lighting fixtures that might have been crystal fruit bowls in another life.
There’s something very joyous about the décor.
Meticulously chosen down to the Frosties boxes in the “kitchen” at the back and the antique hand-dryers in the bathroom, it never seems tacky. The playlist of soul, Motown and funk classics is also spot on.
The set menu of seven small plates for brunch is designed to make the meal into a communal experience. Dishes are brought out one at a time, when the whole group is ready for the next one, so you can take your time to appreciate and discuss each one. We’re told the bottomless brunch has become popular with larger parties, and it’s easy to see why; the format eliminates the stress of waiters trying to take down the orders of 15 people.
Made up of what seem like classic brunch foods, the menu presents each one with a memorable twist. It kicks off with a delicate rolled omelette filled with smoked salmon, spinach and cream cheese, beautifully presented and unusual, despite all the elements being what you’d expect to find at brunch. The next of the “starters”, is the most retro of all party foods – a devilled egg. Stuffed with tuna, anchovies and capers, though, this is a flavourful and sophisticated take.
The openers are followed by dishes each more substantial – and satisfying – than the last. There’s a delicious little tower made of crispy potato latkes, buttermilk fried chicken, horseradish and beetroot pickle, followed by a crepe stuffed with melted cheese and bacon, and covered with cream cheese on top. The latter is indulgent, to say the least, but still very enjoyable.
An excellent kedgeree scotch egg is next, with a quirky sweet, spiced sauce to tie it together, and the savoury dishes – for those who can still manage another – are brought to a close with two massive, but surprisingly light, meatballs in a Sicilian sweet and sour sauce with pine nuts.By this point in the meal, we’re highly sceptical of our ability to take on the seventh dessert plate, but when it arrives – a berry pavlova – it’s gone in a flash. Drizzled with lemon, it’s a refreshingly light way to polish off a whopping great meal.
There are three cocktails on offer, again each a classic with a twist. The Coconut & Pineapple Mimosa goes down a treat – many times over – and the Hemingway Daiquiri, made from fresh grapefruit juice, is delicious. For the brave, the Bloody Derek, with tequila and rum instead of vodka, has a spicy kick.
The bottomless menu (of which a vegetarian version is also available) is only offered on Saturdays at a 12pm or 2:30pm sitting. On our visit, the restaurant felt a little quiet, which may be a pro or a con depending on how fresh you’re feeling on a Saturday morning. But as word get’s around, the brunch – which is brilliant value for money at £35 – is bound to take off.
There may be more food than most would manage, but when asked which course we would drop if we had to choose, we struggled. And if you’re going for a bottomless brunch after all, with morning cocktails and the lot, you may as well do it right.
Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane; bobbyf.co.uk