Brunch (n.): A meal typically eaten late in the morning as a combination of a late breakfast and an early lunch
The second best thing about brunch (the first is so obvious it doesn't need saying... oh, ok then: decadence, booze and a lie in) is that it is a cool word. It's a portmanteau, which is a blended word, like 'smog', from 'smoke' and 'fog', and 'motel' from 'motor' and 'hotel'.
I only learnt that today but it's already stored up there in my grammar greats with onomatopoeic and palindrome...
But back to the best meal of the day: it occurred to me over brunch, munched to the mellow tunes of a rose-haired pianist at Bistrotheque in east London this weekend, that the distinction between brunch and lunch is blurring, or perhaps that was the peach bellini I had to start...
If one eats before brunch, does it become lunch? It was just a snack on some wholesome breakfast loaf before I left the house (and good job too or I'd have been joining in the chorus of Piano Man before the starter had arrived).
So, yes, we had a starter... and a main course... and a pudding... and a glass of wine. Does it stop being brunch yet? I hope not.
It was called brunch on the top of the menu, and that is good enough for me.
Back to the food. Anchovy salad used young spinach and green beans, roasted hazlenuts, set off with a hint of burnt orange and the most perfectly on-the-soft-side boiled quails eggs that have ever melted in my mouth.
We stayed briny for two mains of fish and chips (crisp sumptuous chips, dropped-off-the-back-of-the-boat fresh fish and a side of oh-so-sweet and minty crushed peas with thyme) and seabass (fresh and supported by a quintet of cute queen scallops and some mysteriously un-metallic, and once again very youthful, spinach).
A pudding was necessary - we didn't want the experience to end... and so it was fortunate that a vanilla-rich, creamy banana custard tart and glorious ice cream with crunchy caramel peanut bits did not disappoint.
The service was first class, the vibe was laid back, chatty and happy. I can't wait to go back.
27 Wadeson Street, Poplar, London E2 9; tel. 020 8983 7900; www.bistrotheque.com
Brunch for two cost £98 including two courses, a cocktail and glass of wine each. The set menu is £17.50 for three courses Sunday-Thursday before 7.30pm.