Tom Flint: A café that does breakfast justice

The joy of a perfectly poached egg
The joy of a perfectly poached egg

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is pretty much the first thing I think about when I wake up, and is generally what gets me out of bed in the morning. I cannot confirm its importance, but I can certainly say that I am a fan of breakfast, so long may it continue.

Those who follow me on Instagram have probably seen quite a few posts of my favourite morning meals. There are many pancake images, and the odd smashed avocado, but there is one breakfast/brunch dish that will always be my number one – eggs Benedict and eggs royale are the perfect morning creation. I will forever be thankful to the person that put these flavours together and gave us this wonderful plate of food.

It will come as no surprise then that I chose eggs Benedict from the menu when I paid V&H Café in Hove a visit. The team recently launched a revamped menu following three years of successful trading and invited me along to give it a try.

V&H is run and operated by Verity and Harry who have put their ethos and stamp on the menu. They are passionate about local sourcing, keeping the menu seasonal and catering for all tastes. The café, on Holland Road, is a light, clean and minimal space. On one wall is a map of Sussex with their suppliers mapped out – a nice touch for those interested in that sort of thing.

I take a seat in the window and enjoy a carrot, orange and turmeric juice while my breakfast is being prepared. The juice is very refreshing and I get the feeling it is doing me some good, which may just be my mind playing tricks with me. I’ve also ordered a flat white to balance things out a little.

Eggs Benedict at V&H is not your standard offering. The basic ham has been replaced with ham hock, which instantly gives the impression of being a wise move and an improvement on the original. When it arrives I am pleased with the visual appeal. The food looks fabulous and extremely appetising. Some kale has also snuck onto the plate to add further texture and depth to the dish.

With great trepidation, I burst my first egg and am delighted to find that it has been poached perfectly; there is nothing more upsetting in life than a badly poached egg.

I take my first bite and I can honestly say that this is one of the best Benedict experiences around. The flavours are fantastic and it is delightful to eat. If I were being a purist, my only point of concern would be that the mustard-flavoured hock slightly overpowers the classic egg and hollandaise combo. As a dish though, this completely works.

It may be debatable that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One thing that is not debatable, is that if you are going to do breakfast it is important you do it right. From what I tried at V&H they know this, and judging from the steady flow of customers the people of Hove agree.

V&H Café

63B Holland Road, Hove