I am nothing if not a prepared writer. When it comes to doing reviews of restaurants, I do my research and make sure that I’m primed for what’s on offer. If I’m going to Gillray’s Steakhouse, I find out the history of the venue and the eponymous gentleman. If it’s Hungarian pancakes at the Gay Hussar, I make sure that I know the difference between a pancake and a palacsinta. If I’m reviewing a place that offers a brunch ideal for combating a Sunday morning hangover, I am so dedicated to being prepared that I turn up bedraggled, slovenly dressed and still drunk from the night before.
By the time I reach the venue after a plonking, shambling stumble from Old Street station, I am in the ideal condition to appreciated the experience on offer. The inside of my head is putting on a recreation of the Siege of Sevastopol and my breath is a open flue of ketones, alcohols and aldehydes.
When I meet my friend who is standing outside the venue, he takes one look at me and says, ‘I’ve seen you look bad after a night out before, but this is a whole new level of awful. Oh, and by the way, happy birthday.’
The decor of Monikers is based around the theme of Back to School with blackboards, globes and an entire school bus modified to provide extra seating. It’s ideally suited for a Sunday brunch with an openness and breaziness to it.
The test of a good brunch is in its Bloody Mary and the people at Monikers have put together a damn fine concoction. It was spicy and with enough vim to start the process of recovery. The accompanying starter of black pudding with a fried Burford Brown egg combined protein with protein, which as any connoisseur of hangovers knows, is the basis upon which any path to a clear head starts from. My companion was equally pleased with his mackerel on toast with pickled cucumber.
There are many ways to recover from a hangover and one apocryphal method is the hair of the dog, just keep on drinking. Monikers make this pathway too attractive with some fantastic cocktails. The Martinette with its mixture of chocolate and cherry liqueur had me grinning like a loon whilst my companion sneered and said: ‘I can’t believe you’re still wanting to drink more’.
We rounded off our meal with a Kentish strawberry jelly with vanilla ice cream. It was light and extremely enjoyable, providing the finishing touch to what was a highly restorative meal. I came in woozy, shambling and half-cut. I left galvanised, sated and full of vim. My friend agreed with the quality on offer but begged me not to turn up in such a state again. We shall see.
16 Hoxton Square
Tel: 0207 739 6022