What: Tel-Aviv inspired restaurant The Good Egg has opened a second site in Soho’s Kingly Court. The brand’s Stoke Newington flagship has amassed a cult following off the back of its renowned brunches, but the new restaurant has an all-day menu, a bakery and a bar. Think generous handfuls of pine nuts, liberal use of tahini, pomegranate molasses and plates designed for sharing.
Who: The pair behind the brand, Joel Braham and Alex Coppard, made their name in street food, before securing their first site through ultra-successful crowdfunding from their strong fan base - a trick that they repeated for the Soho site. “We spent five years building that network [of supporters willing to invest]”, Coppard told Big Hospitality, “and that’s what crowdfunding should be for.”
The vibe: The food is heavily Middle Eastern inspired, but the decor is modern and undeniably western, which makes sense as co-owner Braham says part of his inspiration was taken from the delis of Montreal. Walls are painted in peachy pastels and bold blues, and jars of house-made pickles and authentic tahini pots line the shelves. Counter seating overlooks the open kitchen, where there is a lot to look at with the open fire cookery the site’s new equipment facilitates. During the day, the site’s central serving station clears out, and is replaced with baked goods like babka and challah, as well as sandwiches and bagels, which can be bought to takeaway.
The food: In house bread ovens, smokers and open fire grills allow for a host of authentic menu items, with daytime options covering breads, cured and smoked fish, grilled meats and roasted vegetable options. Small snacks like a ‘pickle plate’ of house-made ferments; and pickled herring with apple and egg complement the cocktail menu. Chargrilled pittas and flatbreads can be ordered individually, paired with dips like beets and dill; house labneh, pumpkin seeds and Aleppo chilli; and green whipped feta. Larger dishes include chargrilled octopus; chargrilled aubergine shawarma with muhammara; whole roast cauliflower; ‘ZFC’ za’atar fried chicken with chilli honey and pickles; and a short rib shawarma. Sides like ‘batata harif’ (crispy potatoes with charred peppers, spices, herbs and lemon); and pickled persimmon ‘dak dak’ salad compliment the mains. A chocolate bark studded with salted tahini and sour cherries is a sophisticated sweetener to finish. Early offerings follow the success of the flagship’s brunches, with a host of morning dishes such as brisket hash with caramelised onions, Russian dressing, pickles and a fried egg; challah bread French toast sandwich with white peach jam, candied pecans and crème fraiche; and ‘sabich' - an Israeli sandwich made with fried aubergines, mango amba, pickles and zhoug.
And another thing: The Good Egg joins Pastaio, Darjeeling Express, Wright Bros, Pizza Pilgrims and others in Kingly Court – a pocket of London that is rapidly making a name for itself as a prime location for restaurant real estate. In order to secure a spot, restaurants have to impress Shaftesbury, the landlord, by undergoing a rigorous application procedure involving numerous meetings and tastings. “It was really difficult and we went through three or four rounds of meetings,” says Coppard. “Shaftesbury picked us because it thinks we’re something different. It was a long and painful process but hopefully it will be worth it.”