Bad Brunch at All Bar One

I was recently kindly invited to review All Bar One’s brunch menu in Cambridge. As a late riser who rarely eats breakfast, brunch is my dream meal and I love spending a weekend catching up with friends over food and cocktails. Therefore I was really excited about treating my parents to brunch in Cambridge – and disappointed that it didn’t turn out the way I had planned!

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I had reserved a table weeks ago and phoned to try and change the time a week before our visit. This is when the problems started; four attempts later, at various different times on different days, and I still hadn’t got through. I finally got through one day before and was assured that my reservation would be changed.

When we arrived on Saturday morning, the restaurant was quiet and, after waiting for a few minutes for a waitress, were told we could sit anywhere – there wasn’t a reserved table for us after all. As it was a quiet day, this wasn’t an issue but why take table reservations at all then? Our order was taken fairly quickly but service was generally slow, especially as the restaurant was so quiet.

Our teas and coffees arrived accompanied by, bizarrely, a shot glass each filled with Smarties. A side of chocolate with your tea, whether you are a chocolate lover or not, did feel odd at 11am! When our food arrived, it looked fantastic – the presentation was definitely the best part of the meal. I had ordered the ‘Protein Power Up’ breakfast, my Dad had opted for the Full English and Mum had chosen pancakes.

My Protein Power Up consisted of smoked salmon, avocado and a poached egg, accompanied by seeds. My egg was perfectly poached, but cold, and my avocado slices were rock hard and impossible to eat. However, I did enjoy my smoked salmon and the various seeds added some texture to the dish. My Dad enjoyed his Full English, particularly the bacon, but also commented that his dish was lukewarm at best.

However, my Mum’s pancakes were completely inedible. They tasted straight out a packet and were floppy and dense. They were accompanied by furry bananas and a handful of strawberries and blueberries, without any raspberries as mentioned on the menu. The oddest part was the ice-cold maple syrup to pour over – the whole dish was cold, and nothing like the light and fluffy pancakes I expect at brunch.

I think it’s important to write honest reviews on my blog and for me, All Bar One’s brunch simply wasn’t up to scratch. The service was poor and my Mum’s breakfast was completely inedible; we left feeling really disappointed and that’s not how I want to feel after brunch!

Have you tried All Bar One’s brunch menu? What did you think? Where’s the best place you’ve ever had brunch?