I love trying out brand new restaurants before everyone else has, mainly because that way I can form an opinion on it without being influenced by what anyone else has said. Because of this, I am always in the hunt for new openings. I am subscribed to a few newsletters and I research on newspapers and social media on a daily basis to try to keep up.
Last week, one of my favourite newsletters announced that a new Lantana was going to open near my office, at the London Bridge area, which got me very excited. It is not brand new as this is their third site in London, but still completely new to me as I hadn’t even heard of it before. On top of that, they were offering 50% off during the days of their soft launch, so I of course dragged Simon out of bed on a Sunday (he was also hungover) so we could both try this place out.
When we arrived, the placed looked lovely, it was full but not packed – The Breakfast Club’s queue almost turned around the corner – the place was beautifully decorated and the huge windows let a lot of light in.
The menu looked great: it had the basic brunch items but also a few dishes that normally didn’t feature on your usual Sunday brunch spot.
But despite all of this, I wouldn’t recommend it and I’m certainly not going to go back. Why? Keep reading…
To start off, the waiting staff wasn’t great although this is completely understandable if this is their first time working in the industry. When I worked as a waitress a couple of years ago I dropped two trays full of drinks on my first three days of working. I know, pretty embarrassing.
When our drinks arrived, Simon had ordered an Americano but instead he got what it tasted like (according to him) around three or four espresso shots in a slightly bigger mug. He’s used to very strong coffee but could barely finish that!
We didn’t see our food until 45 minutes after we ordered. As I mentioned earlier, the restaurant was very busy but not packed.
When it finally arrived, the dishes looked beautifully presented. My dish was good but not amazing. Although how good can avocado on toast with halloumi and cucumber can get? The bread was good though which is always a plus.
On the other side, Simon didn’t think his food was that good. The menu did say that the dish came with a very spicy taco sauce, and he didn’t taste a slight hint of spiciness, and that’s the worst thing that can happen to us spicy lovers!
We also ordered French toast to share and I must admit this was the highlight of my brunch. Despite it only being one piece of toast (literally!) it was so so good.
Finally, and what made me not want to come back to this place ever, was the bill. If we hadn’t decided to try it out during their soft launch and taking advantage of the 50% off, we would’ve paid £60 for two coffees and three brunch dishes, one of which was a simple piece of toast soaked in milk and cinnamon. YES, £60! We didn’t even have booze! Don’t even want to think how much it would’ve been if we had.
To my luck, Simon had a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream waiting for him at home; I would’ve had a very pissed of boyfriend for the rest of the day if not.
Although, if this is a price you’re willing to pay for brunch please do feel free to give Lantana a go. The food isn’t bad, I’m sure service will get better every day and the location is great. Up to you!