I had met Patricia, the extremely talented blogger who writes Passagem Gastronomica (http://passagemgastronomica.com.br/en/) at the Luiz Hara Nikkei supper club. Even though we chatted for a bit, we did not realize that we were already following each other on Instagram and we finally ended up connecting thought it. We scheduled a lunch to share our passion for food and tales of two Brazilians who ended up in London and who have serious day jobs, but yet are truly passionate about food.
We wanted to try Farm Girl Café in Notting Hill as it looked cute and the menu was perfect for a Sunday brunch. The restaurant is located in a little alley just off of Portobello Road. The restaurant has character, personality and is truly adorable. We got there at 1pm and were told that we would need to wait 20 minutes for a table and that the kitchen was overwhelmed with all the orders that had just been placed at once, so we could only order cold dishes or just wait till they were able to start cooking hot meals again. No problem. That seemed reasonable.
When we finally sat down, we were told by the first waitress that no hot food would be available at all. We asked if we could place the orders and wait till the kitchen was less overwhelmed and she said no. We told her we would wait a bit and then order and someone else came to take our order and said hot food was ok, as long as we were willing to wait. We placed our orders and then 5 minutes later, he came to inform us that no food at all would be available and that the kitchen was going to shut down as they were short-staffed and wouldn’t be serving anything else. We stood up and told the three people waiting outside they should leave too and the hostess who was very nice and friendly asked us why. As we recounted the situation, she went to speak to the kitchen and came back and sat us back sown and said we would be able to order, cold, hot or whatever we wanted and apologised profusely, as by this point we had already been there for almost an hour.
What we ate:
Banana bread: we ordered this for starter, as we were voraciously hungry, but they forgot to bring it and we had to re-order it again a few times. It was not worth either the calories or the wait. It was a bit dry and not very flavourful.
Avocado toast with fried eggs: earlier they had also told us that they could not do poached eggs anymore but that they could fry them. (Maybe they pre-poach them??) So Stewart went for the classic avocado toast with a side of smoked salmon. It was ok but a bit bland, and the avocado should have been chunkier.
Egg white omelette: I ordered it with spinach and tomatoes, but it lacked seasoning and was very bland. They don’t have any cheese on the menu so I couldn’t make it more interesting. I ordered a side of coconut bacon as I was very intrigued as to what that meant. After reminding them three times and asking where it was, overcooked pieces of coconut arrived at the table. It should never have been called bacon.
Poached eggs with spinach and tomatoes: Patricia tried this and looked nice but there was way too much cilantro, which she hates, and the poached eggs were way too flat and a bit overcooked.
Buckwheat pancakes with berries, maple syrup and shredded coconut: this was probably the best of the bunch that we ordered, and it was still just ok. The pancakes were overly dense and heavy.
The matcha latte I ordered was gorgeous but was prepared with regular milk versus almond milk. (It is not that I have dairy issues. I just love the taste of almond milk with matcha).
In sum: adorable place and cool vibe, but the service and food need some work…..The brunch at 202 or Granger in Notting Hill are much better. If it wasn’t for the hostess, service would have been rated 1 or 2. They claimed two of the chefs didn’t show up that day and that could be the case but the food wasn’t good enough to warrant a second chance.
59A Portobello Rd, London W11 3DB