Continuing my on/off guide to places to get a brekkie bite to eat. I’ve always liked the space and light of the Customs House Quay iteration of ely. So I was pleased when big posters went up in the window declaring them open from 8 for breakfasts. Wi-fi, papers and decent coffee were promised.
I’ve been there lots of times now but still have difficulty giving a coherent review. That’s because almost every feature of breakfast at ely chq is in a constant state of revision.
Though those attractive window posters promise breakfast from 8am, the reality is that you may frequently find yourself pressing your nose against the glass at 8.15 or later. On one memorable occasion I was greeted and seated by the courteous waiter and given a menu. It was only when I tried to order, that I was regretfully told the chef had yet to arrive and the only food available was pastry.
15-20 minute delays on a weekday are the difference between a relaxing breakfast and being late for work.
If you succeed in getting one of the chef-included days, the menu provides you with an unchanging short list of options. I’ve tried the omelette, the fruit and the meats. The fruit was beautifully presented and well-chosen. Figs, melon and pomegranate mixed with juicy citrus segments. A class act, though not exactly enough to set a healthy appetite up for the day.
The meats are well chosen too, but I’m not a fan of the Continental cold charger. Ordered once, not yet repeated.
Dismayingly, there has yet to be a porridge option on the menu. A real pity.
Finally the omelette with sour dough bread. Or perhaps that ought to be ‘omelettes’, because I’ve never been served the same dish twice in response to this order. Sometimes lightly scrambled eggs cover lovely sour dough. Sometimes it’s a slightly overcooked egg pancake served with sliced white baguette.
It’s a lottery. Similarly, sometimes you can sit in contemplative silence one day and the next have Sky Sports News roaring at you from the TV at the end of the bar.
I should add; the wifi isn’t free but the papers are. The coffee and loose leaf tea are not just decent but excellent enough for you to forgive them their price premium.
When ely chq’s breakfast is good, it is very very good. If only they could get the consistancy right, I could stop hesitating at the front door.