- The Dish: The Stack, a pile of corn pancakes layered with melting gouda, raclette and cheddar, accompanied by ham, sugar cane syrup and a free-range fried egg
- The Place: Arepa & Co, 254 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE
- The Chefs: Founders Kathe Cunin and Gus Salguer
What? Classic breakfast dishes have been given the Venezuelan treatment by Arepa & Co, which this month launched its Pachanga brunch.
For lighter bites, there are snacks and small plates such as yuca chips tossed in paprika and canoa de maiz, a spiced corn dough steamed in its own husk.
But it’s the main event where things get interesting. Options include Desayuno Criollo, the Venezuelan version of a full English, featuring scrambled eggs with sofrito sauce, shredded beef, creamy black beans, ripe plantains, cheese, and a choice of arepa (a gluten-free corn bread) or cachapa (a fresh corn dough pancake) to mop it all up.
The Avocado Sunrise is Arepa & Co’s spin on the avocado toast: a fluffy arepa topped with avocado, chilli, spicy salsa verde and a handful of peppery rocket.
A Venezuelan take on traditional brunch pancakes,The Stack sees corn pancakes topped with smoked salmon, labneh, caviar, avocado smash and a soft-boiled egg, finished with a dash of lemon oil.
Where? The bottomless brunch will be held every weekend at the Arepa & Co Bethnal Green restaurant.
“We wanted to bring a little Venezuelan party spirit to our Saturdays and Sundays at Arepa & Co, so we created our Pachanga brunch,” said founders Kathe Cunin and Gus Salguero. “We’ve loved making Bethnal Green our home, and are looking forward to celebrating the weekend with cocktails and Venezuelan cooking for locals and visitors alike.”
Why? In the out-of-home arena, brunchers are getting more experimental with dishes and it’s the younger crowd driving this trend.
A Streetbees survey found overall that 49% of people are eating more brunch than a year ago, with 57% of 18- to 25-year-olds dining out compared to 36% of 46+ year-olds. OpenTable research from last year found breakfast and brunch bookings in the UK have more than doubled, with a 65% increase in the last two years.
Many other restaurants peddling cuisines from Thai and Sri Lankan to Mexican, Italian, Indian and Peruvian have jumped on the brunch bandwagon too,launching international takes on this popular eating out occasion.
Arepa & Co has ensured it injects excitement into familiar favourites, while still giving customers dishes with something relatable.