Looking for somewhere to grab a breakfast in Victoria, Market Halls now has plenty to tempt you. I got out of bed and got in.
The last time I went to the building that is now Market Halls Victoria, it must have been around 2004 it was the club Pacha.It was a place to be seen back then, a classy club so close to the bus stands at Victoria that the smell of diesel fumes vied with the Paco Rabanne.
Well look at it now, it’s a fancy food hall and part of the Market Halls group. Daylight, which never dared intrude at Pacha, floods onto the first floor from a massive glass roof. Up there are more food outlets not open until lunch.
Downstairs is where the new breakfast happens. The bar is not open until 12, which is a bit of shame as some of us can easily handle a bloody mary with our brekky (they are available at weekend brunch), but there is excellent coffee and Cakes, bakes and pastries from Press Coffee.
And, even though you can sit anywhere in the large, airy, space, they trust you with real crockery.I like that, as paper cups are bad for the environment, of course, but they also adversely affect the flavour and are overall just not very pleasant.
Plenty of power points abound in the space for those of us with a laptop whose battery has seen better days, and the free Wi-Fi is easy to get onto and works well.In these kind of public spaces, I use a VPN to avoid being targeted by Mr Robot and this slows down the speeds a bit but it’s worth it.
Also worth it, and what a seque that was, are the new breakfast offerings from the downstairs outlets. I hummed and hah’d a bit; was I going to be healthy and get something from Squirrel the all-day, fast-casual, healthy eating concept created by married couples Charlie and Anneke Gilkes, and Duncan and Zoe Stirling.
I could have gone for THE CLASSIC- poached egg – smoked salmon – avocado – rocket – tomato – olive oil? Or SALMON & AVO- avocado – smoked salmon – lemon wedge – rocket.
The staff are all knowledgeable on nutrition, and can usefully advise, and it’s all freshly made and looks good, but the siren call of something frying was calling me.
Hello Monty’s.Monty’s Deli is a traditional ‘kosher style’ Jewish Deli and they cure their own salt beef. That was enough for me, my family are from that side of the tracks and while we are not observant, we do like a bit of salt beef and chicken soup and are somewhat suspicious of Jeremy Corbyn.
Salt beef, latkes, and eggs, with a side of coleslaw spattered with rather un-Yiddish Sriracha was very good. Proper crispy fringe to the egg, the latke was crispy and not oily while the salt beef some of the best I’ve had.
They clearly know what they’re doing. Monty’s also has Fresh glazed buns with egg and cheese (with or without pastrami) or salmon and egg and Breakfast bagels – smoked salmon, salt beef, pastrami or smashed avo bagel
With J now turning up late and hungry we tried a Dirty BLT – smoked streaky bacon, beef fat onions, lettuce and Bloody Mary chilli sambal from Flank.
This was not such a success, the bacon was tough and we couldn’t bite through easily, so each time we were messily dragging the meat out of the bun.
Chewing it was hard work and we both ended up with bacon bits stuck uncomfortably between our teeth. A good ‘bun’ in principle, but not delivered in practice.
The Smoked Breakfast Naan – a hand stretched naan filled with sausage, bacon, onions, pickles, cheese, fried egg and Bloody Mary sambal ketchup looked better.
So, next time we’ll try that.We hung around to do some proper work and by midday the place was rammed. All the outlets at full power, and a great selection of dishes to suit everyone it seemed.
So, if you’re looking for a place to have a bit of breakfast before work, a break-out meeting spot mid-morning, or just somewhere to hang with a coffee before your early train leaves, then Market Halls has got you covered.
*Breakfast served from 8am to 11am every weekday
*Takeaway available for commuters
*Strong Wi-Fi and even stronger coffee
*Book a breakfast meeting for 6 or more
*Brunch on weekends, including Bloody Marys