I'm a London-dwelling northern lass who swapped the East End for Far East on the trip of a lifetime. I blog about food, travel, yoga and spirituality. www.sophiesnotinkansas.com
Published January 29th 2013
Standing opposite the historic Smithfield meat market in London, Smiths of Smithfield (SOS) is a grade II listed building whose restaurant spans four floors. Its mission statement is to serve simple food made from the finest ingredients in a relaxed atmosphere. We found that SOS lives up to this maxim, making it the perfect spot for a laid back Sunday brunch.
It gets progressively posher as you ascend the staircases up through a wine and dining room to a private function space. We stayed on the ground floor restaurant which is relaxed and airy. There are plenty of leather sofas to laze back on and soak up the ambience which - with wide open spaces, big windows and blasted brickwork - is a cut above your average high street restaurant.
As we waited for various friends to emerge in a shambolic, hungover state, we got started with hair of the dog and a portion of chips. The chips came beautifully presented in a little silver bucket but unfortunately we felt the portion was a little on the small side to make it a satisfactory sharing dish.
The breakfast menu is comprehensive and inventive, with creative options such as 'Lumber Jack Stack' pancakes or creamy field mushrooms alongside old favourites such as hot porridge and bacon butties. There is an entire section of the menu dedicated to eggs of varying kinds - always a winner in my book. Percy opted for the gammon, eggs and chips which was definitely larger than your average breakfast meal.
As for the rest of us, our hangovers meant that we were already past the point of breakfast so instead we went straight for the 'Big Stuff' selection on the menu, ordering the hearty beef stew with horseradish dumplings, the linguine with king prawns, lemon and rocket and finally - the biggest of them all - the grilled minute steak with onion rings, chips and SOS sauce. We rounded off with a deliciously naughty chocolate and peanut butter cake with ice cream. This arrived as not only one but two pieces of cake, and the crunchiness of the peanut butter came through delightfully.
We stayed longer than any other group of customers and the staff did not seem to mind at all. In fact, our waitress was friendly and gracious - in spite of our indecision she always dealt with us with a smile and kept us topped up with fresh tap water throughout.