Sat in the brutalist shadow of the Barbican, Bad Egg’s an idiosyncratic little brunch spot. Run by London ‘barbecue king’ Neil Rankin – his CV a where’s where of ace meat joints, Pitt Cue, Temper and Smokehouse among ’em – it’s a ‘permanent pop-up’ (their words) turned actually permanent. Long occupying the premises of the suity Little Smoke restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s now taken over proper. It’s maniacally popular: waiting lists are weeks long despite the location, this part of the City an eerie dead zone on the weekends. That’s all for good reason, though, as the food is fabulous. A mash-up of Tex-Mex diner-style grub (nachos, tacos, buffalo rib tips, sandwiches et al) and more modish plates (guacamole, pulled pork and kimchi on toast, ‘macanchini’ balls and so on) the menu is a relentless parade of fiery, funky hits. Clean eating this is not.
Famished/hungover types should hit the bottomless brunch: endless booze or softies (no mimosas for me, but the coffee was fine) plus three plates per person. Eggs abound. As do head-sweltering chipotle-infused bits and synthetic cheese. A bowl of ‘Bad Ass nachos’, slathered in green salsa and topped with a fried egg, was a cobweb-blasting treat; as was the little pot of crusty, chewy buffalo rib tips, coolly tempered with a blue cheese mayo. A deconstructed cheeseburger hash was a mess of meat and melt, with all the humming unctuousness you’d expect from a Rankin dish. ’Nduja cheese covered fries? A no-brainer. The scrambled egg and guacamole breakfast tacos seemed positively restrained in comparison. This is unrepentantly filthy stuff. Make the schlep and wallow away: being bad never tasted so good.