A 5 minute walk away from Highbury and Islington station is Little Bat, a small but beautifully designed cocktail bar with mixed period decor and a friendly, welcoming team. The restaurant recently launched its brunch menu and I must say that after trying it once, it has swiftly stolen my heart.
When it comes to brunch, I’m always keen to try something a bit more imaginative than your typical uninspiring avocado on sourdough fair and I was therefore pleasantly surprised to see how much effort the Little Bat team had put into their menu choices. Each individual dish is unique and full of flavour with tiny additions and adjustments – dukkah for instance – used to give even ordinary dishes a completely new dimension.
I plumped for the cauliflower and smoked cheddar croquettes, the avocado, dukkah and poached egg on sourdough, chickpea and potato parmesan rosti with spinach, bacon, poached eggs & hollandaise and to finish I went for the brioche French toast with banana butterscotch, mascarpone and hazelnuts. Yum! It’s fair to say that my diet went out of the window on that particular day!
The highlights of the meal were definitely the rosti and the croquettes. The croquettes are vegetarian yet when I ate them I had the strangest sensation of tasting ham. The different rosti textures balance nicely in the mouth and the prominent truffle flavour gives the dish a nice twist. A great tip here is to order the vegetarian version and then add bacon which gives you far more for your money.
I can’t leave without discussing the French toast however. If you have a sweet tooth, you will certainly not be disappointed. This is oh so sweet – it’s smothered in sauce with the bread fully soaked – but the mix of flavours is delightful. I think the bread could probably have done with more of a crunch on the outside for a bit of contrast but it was a memorable dish nonetheless.
I should say a word about the bar too as the atmosphere was really quite lovely. The Little Bat team are incredibly knowledgeable about the food and eager to answer questions. The music was great too – I spent the entire brunch wiggling left to right in my chair!
I would definitely recommend Little Bat as a great place for lunch or brunch as I am certain that all who enter this little bar will fall for its charms. However, you don’t need to wait for lunch to enjoy Little Bat’s great atmosphere – why not pop down for a drink or two? You`ll certainly be glad you did.
If you like to see more of our fabulous Food columnist Juti, then please visit her excellent website, The Belle of Brunch.
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