And so it was time for another Boozy Brunch, and so a group of 10 of us (because we are now struggling to find places than can handle the whole crew at once) decided to check out Hotbox’s offering. So the deal is that you order from the brunch menu and then can add a liquid brunch at £25 a head and that includes an unlimited prosecco, mimosa and Bloody Mary selection while you eat. There is a wide range of Bloody Mary’s and I am informed that they were really good. I can vouch for the mimosas and prosecco as being good choices.
I’ll start with the good, the pouring was excellent! We had the wonderful Sam working our table and it was like she was able to read our minds, anytime I got to the point where I could nearly see the bottom of my glass suddenly it was being refilled. She also quickly realised that one bottle wasn’t enough to refill the glasses of 10 speedy drinkers and started bringing over 2 at a time. We insisted on including her in the group shot as it was basically like she was one of us, in fact we want to take her to every brunch from now on. It may look like she is being held captive but actually we are holding her hand because we at this point were all best buds- it wasn’t a death grip, promise!
The food that I had was really good, I ordered the skillet smoked meat hash as did most people there after a strong recommendation by another waiter passing the table. I think that Daniel bucked the trend by having the tacos and I remember Tom having the eggs benedict and Vicky trying their chicken and waffle. I thought that the hash was delicious, there was a strong smoky flavour and the meat was really tender and full of flavour but was surprised it didn’t come with anything on the side, and it wasn’t the largest portion. So I asked to add an order of toast, I was brought out one slice of dry sourdough toast – now I love sourdough but it really shines when toasted and buttered – when toasted and no longer hot it can become a little ryvita esque without anything to top it. The same thing happened to Grant who had ordered an English muffin – toasted and dry without even butter on the side resulted in it being a sorry sight. I also tried some of the smoked pork belly and Mac and cheese because a few people ordered it on the side and in general we of the Boozy bunch are sharers (except for when it comes to a certain someone who knows who they are and Coba’s prawn toast but that story is for a different time) and they were both good as were the tastes of all the other dishes.
So some of the others thought they might want to order more sides, and everyone on the table started to consider how many deep fried Oreos we would need to go round (this particular item on the menu was the subject of many a heated debate on our planning whatsapp thread), and those of us with dry sorry for themselves bread portions thought we might ask for some butter. But when we asked someone over to take our orders tragedy struck, we were told that the kitchen was closed 😱 with no prior warning 😱😱. This was despite us arriving on time for our booking and being asked to wait outside for around 25 minutes. The result was that the generous pouring had even more of an effect and to this day many of us are no closer to having experienced what a deep fried Oreo tastes like.
I think that with our vast collective experience of Boozy brunches we could have a really healthy debate on the food vs booze, unlimited versus standard portion elements of infinity brunches. But I’m sure that no one would argue against food having a crucial role in the enjoyment and stamina of a brunch. And so the sudden removal of any access to food, with no notice, particularly when one person had been undecided and delayed ordering and so ended up with nothing, put a bit of a dampener on this brunch for me. We still had a great time but I’m not sure it’s one I would be going back to in a hurry, and I’m not sure about recommending it or maybe if you do go then I would suggest making a really early booking? Or ordering puds up front? Or at least asking when the kitchen closes that day.
46-48 Commercial St, London, E1 6LT