Whilst the rest of you were tucking into chocolate for breakfast on Easter Sunday, I headed off to The Victoria on John Bright Street for their inaugural Sunday Brunch.
Not the most obvious place for brunch, I’ll give you that, but the team at The Victoria decided to try something a little different for the Bank Holiday. And being a whisky bar and a long weekend, it seemed only fitting to go for something which married the two. Now whilst I’m not unfamiliar with the concept of ‘breakfast whisky’ I did wonder how this might work as, even for me, whisky is a bit much first thing. But work it did, and surprisingly well.
Initially, the offering looked like a pretty standard range of breakfast / brunch dishes, including American-style pancakes, eggs Benedict and a breakfast sandwich. But The Victoria’s chef had put his own whisky-infused twist on them with Jack Daniels syrup for the pancakes, a whiskey hollandaise for the eggs and spicy BBQ beans for the sides.
The overall experience was a nice bourbon flavour without being too overpowering. The Eggs Tennessee were a nice twist on Eggs Benedict, with two poached eggs on a potato rosti. The eggs were well cooked and the whiskey hollandaise had a lovely balance of richness from the egg and butter with the whiskey flavour cutting through.
A special mention needs to go to the pancakes which were probably some of the best I’ve tried in the city; light and fluffy with a slightly crisp outside, they were delicious and it’s a wonder the Vic doesn’t do them more often. The JD syrup was a nice alternative to maple or golden syrup but they would have been great with either of these too.
Of course for those who wanted something a little more celebratory, they were also doing a beef jerky infused Jack Daniels Bloody Mary. Though I’m not enough of a fan of tomato juice to try more than a sip, the spice mix and bourbon would’ve been enough to clear the cobwebs of any hangover, I’m sure. More to my taste was the Citrus Cooler, which was made of muddled citrus fruit and sugar syrup topped with soda, for a lovely refreshing drink with just the right amount of tartness to it.
Whilst I was initially a little sceptical of brunch at The Victoria, each of the dishes I tried exceeded my expectations. The whiskey theme was interesting and did bring something new, but what struck me most was that for a venue I don’t necessarily associate with daytime they really pulled off a relaxed but tasty brunch.
After the success of the first brunch at The Victoria, they will be bringing it back as a regular (standard non-whiskey) Sunday Brunch on the last Sunday of the month – which means your next chance to give the pancakes a try is on Sunday 26 April. There are also rumours they might do them for the Bank Holiday weekend, but probably worth keeping an eye out for more info on this.
Disclosure: I was invited as a guest of The Victoria to try their Sunday Brunch, which meant I had to get up early on a Sunday which is one of my least favourite things so that tells you how good those pancakes were. Whilst the food was complimentary it didn’t mean I was required to be and as usual all reviews remain honest and my own.