Eggs have always been an integral part of cooking, and later of fine dining – just look at the restaurants that adopt it as their signature dish: Eggs in a water bath at FraÃ®che; eggs cooked sous vide at 64º at (where else?) 64 Degrees, Brighton, even Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social was at one time famed for its slow cooked eggs.
But those were one item on a menu of many other dishes. What we are seeing in London now is the rise of the specialist restaurant, a high concept place dedicated to one main ingredient. And recently restaurateurs have turned their sights on the egg.
In December last year Neil Rankin (he of Islington’s Smokehouse) launched Bad Egg at City Point in Moorgate, since then there has been something of a flurry (or should that be a scramble) with more restaurateurs following suit.
Launching this summer in quick succession are Egg Break (a joint project between Soho House and Hoxton Hotel owners Ennismore) in Notting Hill and The Good Egg (a street food startup that crowd-funded £250K to acquire a plum spot on Stokey’s Church Street). Soho House also recently launched the Chicken & Egg Shop in Balham.
Meanwhile WingsEggs has just opened in Fulham Broadway. The restaurant specialises in (you guessed it) chicken wings and eggs, served in many forms alongside a selection of European beers.
The hen’s eggs are all Burford Brown and Cotswold Legbar and other speciality eggs including duck and quail. The menu will also seasonally feature emu and ostrich for the more adventurous egg aficionado.
Dishes include: the Lost Sailor (scrambled Burford eggs with crayfish and avocado); and Sweet Sisters (fried quail eggs cooked with chicken, corn and red pepper).
Chef JP Tanti, formerly at the Hoxton Grill, has created a menu of differently marinated wings, including the Dita Maltease (with peanuts and honey); smoking BBQ; Japanese miso; Jamaican jerk; and Pimp My Ride (cooked with Jack Daniels). Diner can even have their wings deboned and served in a bun. Surely missing the point of the finger-licking fun of chomping on a wing?
And then there’s artisan bakers and coffee makers Foxcroft & Ginger who have just announced their latest venture, feeding hungry hipsters of Dalston with a specialist poached egg bar, located in Beyond Retro on Stoke Newington Road.
The egg bar, which launched on 18 June, serves: eggs Benedict; poached eggs with sweet potato scone, chorizo and Chermoula sauce; poached eggs with herb roasted mushrooms, béchamel, truffle oil, nut crumble and parmesan on sourdough toast; and poached eggs with smoked haddock, caramelised cheese saucea and parmesan on sourdough. Eggs will be cooked sous vide at 63º.