Sunday brunch all day and every day
- Credit: Archant
Popular Barnsbury cafe Sunday has now branched out to open a second site in Hampstead and is sharing its delicious inspirational brunch recipes in a cook book
Play a word association game and you can bet that ‘brunch’ will crop up soon after ‘Sunday’.
Yet the hybrid concept - beloved of Americans and Aussies - was still under-explored when chefs Alan Turner and Terence Williamson opened their Barnsbury cafe Sunday in 2013.
“There wasn’t really a scene in London when we started,” says Turner.
“For the first two years we served breakfast lunch and dinner, but the hours were ridiculous. Then queues started to form every day from 9-5 as a diverse crowd from all walks of life recognised we were doing things you didn’t see in other cafes.”
Both with young children, the pair were happy to ditch dinner service - even so they serve 400 covers a day, cracking through 1500 eggs a week at their Hemingford Road cafe.
They met in their 20s and worked together at Primrose Hill gastropub The Engineer before Turner went off to be head chef at Tufnell Park’s Junction Tavern.
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“We hit it off, we both have Jamaican heritage and a similar passion for food, we like to come up with great dishes and got tired of working for other people,” says Turner of their decision to start up together.
From their American fluffy pancakes with honeycomb butter, to smoked haddock rarebit, and Turkish eggs with merguez it’s “the “little touches that separate us,” says Turner. “Going that extra mile to get the wow factor.”
“Being selfish we were doing food that we wanted to do, but we believed in it so much. We’re an example of two guys with no backing who have a product people want and believe in ourselves to make it a success.”
If there’s one dish that sums us them up, it’s the courgette fritters with halloumi dukkah and mint yoghurt.
“There’s a lot of elements, depth and texture, we kept adding to it before we said ‘stop now.. too much’.”
Having tried the tastebud-stimulating combination of corn fritters, poached egg, chili jam and bacon with a slick of creme fraiche, I am a Sunday convert.
The ex Sebright Primary pupil grew up in Hackney and recalls how his Jamaican grandpa inspired an early love of food.
“There was always something cooking in his Dutchpot, whether fried chicken or dumplings, we grew up eating fresh food.”
The Stroud Green resident has just opened a second space on the ground floor of new block Belle Vue between Haverstock Hill and the Royal Free.
It’s “a step up” with more space as Sunday’s cosy dimensions had become “frustrating.” Add in a subsidence problem coupled with lockdown which kept Barnsbury closed for a “traumatic nine months” and a second site has been a godsend.
Both serve excellent Caravan coffee and source fruit and veg from Newington Green Veg.
“Not many people know we are here yet, I’m hoping for word of mouth providing we can stay open,” says Turner, whose book with Williamson Brunch The Sunday Way (Frances Lincoln £14.99) came out in May.
Introducing 70 of their gorgeous recipes they explain: “Brunch is arguably the most joyous meal of the day. Brunch follows no rules and is open to any number of interpretations. It can be enjoyed any time of day; it can be entirely sweet or savoury, or both. It can be easy or complex; it can be a social ‘event’, or a casual, laid-back affair. More than anything, to us brunch is fun, which is what good food should be.”
Sunday@Bellevue in Rowland Hill Street NW3 is offering a 10percent reduction to NHS staff.