The beauty of brunch is its versatility; A Bloody Mary and eggs-any-way can be truly satisfying mid-morning, noon or mid-afternoon. Last weekend, my friend Lulu and I decided on a spot of daytime debauchery and pushing said boundaries, our bottomless brunch commenced at the wild time of 3pm.
Where: Ask for Janice. It’s a bar-come-café behind Smithfield Market, Farringdon. In the evenings, young professionals sup on innovative cocktails in the basement bar. Come the weekend, a newly launched brunch offering – bottomless or not – welcomes the crowd.
With warm greetings from our lovely waitress and restaurant manager Radka, we toyed with a few options on the drinks menu. Naturally, we opted for bottomless with a mix-n-match choice of Bucks Fizz, Bloody Mary’s or Salty Dog’s; a gin and grapefruit juice cocktail in a salt rim glass. Deciding on the latter, the sharp concoction packed a mean punch.
Perusing the foods, Radka advised us the Hash Brown and Chorizo with Coriander Yoghurt dish is a must, as are the AFJ Bloody Mary Baked Beans on Sourdough served with a fiery dollop of Horseradish Crème Fraiche. Neither disappointed, both became hearty additions to the feast that ensued.
The Ask for Janice team were vibrant in personality, matching the aesthetics of the place. Neon signs adorned the exposed brick walls and roughage table tops made for impressive Insta snaps. The music was diverse, and we found ourselves humming along whilst chowing down.
But most impressive, for which we discovered on a nosey around the basement loo’s, are baskets abounding silky soft paper in each cubicle. Gone are the days of panic, frantically searching around you for a single square!
Returning to the table, a feast awaited us. For £35 each, you can chose three dishes from the menu and unlimited booze for two hours. Not a bad deal in such a competitive market. There is the option to go booze free of course, this will cost you £25.
Alongside our Chorizo and Bean dishes, laid a few lighter options. Smoked Salmon Hash with Fried Quails Egg – one of AFJ’s best sellers is drenched in butter whilst the salmon softly flakes. Keeping things fishy, the Hake Fillet with Yellow Pea Dahl and Raita seduced our spice callings.
The Bavette Steak is accompanied by Field Mushroom and a Bone Marrow and Smoked Tomato Dressing, while the crispy Carrot Hotcakes with Carrot Hummus are bountiful in flavour and scattered with Orange and Toasted Almonds.
As we encouraged the small plates, Salty Dogs continued to flow. Approaching our 2 hour limit we wrapped up with a slice of Orange & Pecan loaf. Unnecessary, but worth the bloat.
Ask for Janice was an all-round winner. We enjoyed the food and our surroundings, but most of all the impeccable hospitality. The staff are welcoming and attentive and ply you with exactly what you came for – copious amounts of booze!
50-52 Long Lane