Brunch Here: Passo, Old StreetBy Alicia Grimshaw
Brunch spots around the Old Street area are thin on the ground, unless you amble down Great Eastern Street towards Shoreditch which is inundated with cafes and early morning eateries.
But down Old Street way, you’d be lucky to get your hands on a plate of scrambled eggs and a dairy-free coffee, that is, until now. Passo opened last year and it’s a place that Old Street needs; a restaurant with a slow day to night vibe, accessible food and interiors to make the Queer Eye clan weep with hessian carpet joy.
Passo: The Lowdown
Passo is the latest venture from the Good Life Projects, the team behind Rum Kitchen which now have three outlets across London, Foley’s in Fitzrovia and Island Poke. In short, these guys know what they’re doing. And you can tell: the decor lures your in like some Tinder singleton, and that’s before you have chance to spy the menu. You can’t help but fall in the love the interiors; the open kitchen provides the focal point, with the wooden tables and chairs merely playing the supporting roles to the almighty wood fired oven, and floor to ceiling glass windows which floods the restaurant with natural light. The restaurant takes it cues from Italy, with a big focus on seasonal cooking and fresh produce.
Passo: The Food
The brunch menu sort of veers off from the Italian focus in someway, but hey, we’re not complaining. There’s shakshuka, indulgent sweet dishes and, everybody’s money-splurging favourite, avocado on toast.
The fried banana bread with sour cream was delicious. Let’s be honest, fry anything and stick it with a tart sour cream and it’ll taste amazing. The Nutella French toast with hazelnut cream was a nutty sensation; the pockets of warm, soft, and slightly crisp bread oozing melted Nutella tasted just as blissful as it looked.
For a savoury fix, the veggie breakfast isn’t some sad replacement for the meat-tastic extravaganza. There’s eggs served to your liking, tomato bruschetta, mozzarella, grilled tomato, mushroom and avocado. And the brunch menu also features wild boar ragu on toast with parmigiano. The wild boar ragu is already a hit on the dinner menu, so the kitchen team adapted the dish to make it suitable for the late morning lot. The ragu was incredibly rich, but not that stage of rich where you can’t finish it off, because we did, happily. The meltingly tender wild boar stewed in a tomato sauce was instant gratification to the tastebuds. Forget avocado, this is what you need to be slathering on toast.
Passo: The Verdict
Passo is a solid brunch choice; the dishes are packed with fresh ingredients, there’s no cutting corners and the coffee is heavenly. Next time you’re in the Old Street area, and find yourself with limited options definitely swing by Passo. And with the restaurant being so spacious, you can camp out, like us, and lounge in style without the fear of being moved along.
For more information on Passo, visit the website here. 80 City Rd, London EC1Y 2BJ