The Resident heads to the new Rascals restaurant in Shoreditch to guzzle espresso martinis, make new friends and spin the Roulette Wheel of Certain Misfortune…
With a name like Rascals, it was never going to be one for wallflowers, but it looks like we’ve found the most raucous brunch party in London. And while we all have that one friend who’s doing Dry January, there are plenty of us left who have no intention of forgoing their fizz this month.
And this bottomless brunch really is bottomless. The brainchild of Ballie Ballerson founders and siblings George and Wenny Anderson (the adult ball pit is just next door), the focus of this Saturday afternoon affair is boozy, uninhibited fun.
A Buck’s Fizz greets you on arrival, and you’ll never get to the bottom of it. In fact, no sooner have you taken your first sip than its petite but potent friend – the bottomless espresso martini – arrives. And you’ll never reach the bottom of that, either. Nor would you want to. Given that its made in pretty vast quantities, it’s very good.
Your vivacious host, Ginger Flap’page, is instantly working the room, warming up the crowd with some good banter and attempting to commit everybody’s name to memory.
Seated at long, communal tables, you’ll soon find yourself chatting to your neighbours and at precisely 3.26pm (I know, because I have a very wobbly video of it on my phone) the room erupted into a singalong when The Spice Girls’ Who Do You Think You Are came blaring out of the sound sytem (the 90s tunes are strong).
In between all of this singing and quaffing, a burrata magically transpired in front of me, which just so happens to be one of my foodie favourites. We’re in for a treat here, I thought.
Then the games began, and it all slid into debauchery. You and your newly acquired teammates suddenly find yourselves competing games to win points for your table, from dressing up against the clock to spinning the Roulette Wheel of Certain Misfortune and a version of Play Your Cards Right that I lost track of after a loo trip.
And somebody ended up in the stocks at the end, but I’m not sure why because the espresso martinis had well and truly kicked in by that point.
If you’re here for a super fun, boozy afternoon out with your mates, then Rascals’ bottomless brunch is perfect
Your saviour ought to be the truffle linguine with meatballs served somewhere around the halfway mark, but it’s a pretty uninspiring dish to be honest and I just picked out the meatballs to keep me on an (almost) even keel.
Dessert is jelly and ice cream which, while the ice cream is a good vanilla ice cream, on the whole is also a bit on the plain side. Most perplexing of all is that there isn’t a poached egg or an avocado in sight.
If you’re here for the food, you’re in the wrong place, but if you’re here for a super fun, boozy afternoon out with your mates, then Rascals’ bottomless brunch is perfect. It’s great for a hen do. It’s probably the perfect post-breakup remedy. It may well be the only bottomless brunch in London where you can get properly pissed. But it’s not one for foodies.
The lunch and dinner menus, however, look fabulous, cooked up by Head Chef Heritier Nsemi, who has worked at the refined Royal Hospital Road and Petrus. You can try small plates like crispy cod and burnt cauliflower, wood-flamed beef chuck with triple cooked chips and duck breast with peaches and smoked cabbage. Perhaps the logistics of delivering such indulgences en masse to an unruly crowd are just too difficult?
My friend and I decamped to The Book Club around the corner to calm our giddy selves down and debrief over a glass of red wine, and while there’s no denying it was an absolute hoot, we couldn’t help but feel that we’d missed out on a good brunch.
Rascals’ bottomless brunch is served Saturdays from 3pm-5pm for £40pp at 97 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BS. To book see londonrascals.com