In a nutshell
Ed Wyand (formerly of Scott’s, Mayfair) and Tom Bell head up Verden 5, a no-fuss local neighbourhood restaurant in edgy Clapton, East London. The Japanese-Scandi minimalist, elegant décor provides an appropriate backdrop for twists on classic brunch dishes and an impressive drinks list, specially selected for drinking early in the day.
The club sandwich served with fries is epic: crisp, golden sourdough packed with roast chicken, home-cured pancetta, gem lettuce and Italian vine tomatoes. Celeriac remoulade, 26-month Comté cheese and grilled lardo give extra texture to build one of the best sandwiches of its kind, with a gherkin on top for good measure.
Kippers from Lambton & Jackson smokehouse in Essex was meatier than the spindly, boney little things that so often call themselves kippers. Served with a poached egg and buttery spinach, this was a protein-packed brunch with powerful flavours to match.
Salted caramel chocolate pot is a two-layered, rich, silky pot of heaven. Your waiter won’t judge if you have one between two. (We are lucky enough to have the recipe here.)
What we liked
The drinks menu, which included breakfast beer and wine, was very thoughtful. Podere Santa Maria wine made with Sangiovese grapes is light in alcohol with a pretty pink-orange colour. ‘Cool as a Cucumber’ breakfast beer from Wild Beer Co. gets its name from the staggering 93 cucumbers it contains per 750ml bottle. So low in alcohol it’s like drinking sparkling water; perfect before noon. The Aperol Spritz is a light and refreshing start to the day. The bubbles from the prosecco cut through the club sandwich particularly well.
What we’re going back for
A simple plate of chorizo, poached egg and potatoes gave onlookers serious food envy. Proper crisp roast potatoes are just what you need at the weekend… it means we don’t have to compromise on our roast dinner when going for a Sunday brunch.
What’s the room like?
Japanese-Scandi minimalist – clean angles, wood and dark furnishings. Grey and black walls, dark matte grey tables and simple sofas are softened by pale wooden bar stools, angled mirrors above the bar, funky copper light installments and large windows all along the corner building. Nothing fussy – the menu is allowed to speak for itself.
Brunch served 11am – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays
VerdenE5.com 181 Clarence Rd, London, E5 8EE
By Alex Crossley, written October 2015
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