Posh brunch; we don't really have that up in Clapton, yet. Well, maybe L'entrepot fits that category, but Mr Buckleys down Hackney Road is bringing a new level of culinary sophistication to brunching in the borough. I had been following them on twitter since before they opened late last year and only made it down this weekend. It was the perfect day for a leisurely cycle down through London Fields and Broadway Market.
Things do get a bit snazzier as you head south towards Shoreditch - a bit more money circulating, higher end markets attracting tourists, especially Columbia Road. The vibe down that way is definitely a bit more moneyed, a bit more fashionista, a bit more...annoying. But it also means you get brilliant places like Mr Buckleys able to thrive with a more adventurous foodie offering.
Mr Buckleys is all about good food at all times of day - it's open right through from commuter coffee run through to 2am cocktails at the weekend. It's an inviting space across two mezzanine levels, so it's either up or downstairs from the entrance. Inside it's exposed brick yadda yadda, but nicely done.
We kicked off with some really nice juices - mine was cucumber, apple and aloe vera, while Pete had an orange, carrot and ginger mix. Not thick and heavy like a smoothie, but fresh, light and equally flavoursome.
I had crab cakes benedict - combining some of my favourite elements. Poached eggs, sourdough, holandaise, and crab! Mmmm. The crab cake was packed with tasty fresh meat, and was coated with crispy bread crumbs, and perfectly formed. Nice served on sourdough, and all round good combinations.
Pete had pancakes with goat milk yoghurt, honey and cinnamon poached pears. The pears were delicious - slightly caramelly, nicely spiced and still delicate. The goat milk yoghurt just had an extra punch, but wasn't too pungent. I felt the portion of pear could have been slightly more generous, but that's a small niggle.
We really liked Mr Buckleys - really friendly, attentive service, imaginative and really well done food, and a buzzy atmosphere. I'll be back to try their small plates menu and cocktails soon. Word of advice: Mr Buckleys is popular, so arrive early or book (online, very easy).