Two Saturdays ago, wanting a centrally-located brunch-y place to meet a friend, Jon and I showed up at Lantana at around 1:30 pm. The place was packed, which I’d expected, so we patiently queued for about 30 minutes.
Finally inside, the cafe was noisy and bustling, and we sat elbow-to-elbow with neighboring tables, which was convivial (though somewhat awkward for the type of catch-up conversation we wanted to have with our friend).
We placed our orders relatively quickly after sitting down, and then we waited. And waited. For over an hour. In fact, we waited an hour and 15 minutes for the three plates we’d ordered. That was silly. I understand the place is crowded and busy. But there were only three of us. And the menu is limited to egg dishes and sandwiches.
On the plus side, the food – when it finally arrived – was good. My baked eggs were cooked in a smoky, slightly-spicy chipotle-tasting sauce. I miss chipotle. I used to buy those peppers canned and add them to anything I could get my hands on. I’ll have to remember to bring some back with me when I’m in the U.S. for the December holidays.
My friend’s corn fritters with a side of bacon was also tasty, but then again, by the time our food arrived, we were ravenous. So even a cardboard box would have tasted good. The bacon and sausage he ordered, though – well, he had to fight us off for those. I’m sure the meat products at Lantana Cafe would be delicious even if one had arrived with a full stomach.
And Jon’s ham, spinach and cheddar omelet was a little dry, but I guess that’s why you get a tomato chutney on the side.
Our food hit our table at 3:15. We devoured everything by 3:30 and were out the door by 3:45. With teas and coffees, we paid £14 each.
Service was friendly but completely not helpful with speeding up our order (one server explained that it was my baked egg dish that was taking a long time. Really? An hour and 15 minutes?).
Lantana Cafe could learn a thing or two from any number of unheralded NJ diners – those places know how to push out a hot, delicious brunch. In any event, our meal at LC wasn’t worth the wait.
Lantana Cafe, 13 Charlotte Place, W1T 1SN; 020 7637 3347; closest tube station: Goodge Street.