- The Dish: The Billingsgate: a smoked maple bacon and scallop breakfast muffin
- The Place: Claw, Carnaby Street
- The chef: Josh Levy
What? We know there’s nothing new about a bacon breakfast muffin, but you don’t tend to see commuters enjoying a scallop with their morning cups of tea or coffee. That’s because seafood breakfasts are both rare and a luxury, with a price tag to go with the privilege – not to mention they can be a bit of a faff to eat. Enter Claw, where chef and expert seafood trader Fabian Clark is bringing responsibly sourced, pleasingly priced seafood to London, for breakfast as well as lunch. By using scallops and bacon for The Billingsgate, he’s treading a well-worn and much-loved path flavour-wise, but the clever bits are the grab-and-go format and the fact it costs just £5.
Where? Claw has been popping up at markets and events all over London for the past two years, but this is its first permanent spot. Because Clark obtains his seafood directly from fishermen, he gets the best quality but also the best prices. Formerly the preserve of chain Loch Fyne and fine-dining restaurants like Kaspar’s at the Savoy, seafood for breakfast just got accessible, mobile and far more exciting than eggs royale and smoked kippers. In fact, Claw is also opening the day with a raclette cheese toastie with crab (£6) and an English muffin with smoked Hampshire trout and cream cheese (£4).
Why? Breakfast is big business right now, with all-day dining touted as “key to business growth for foodservice operators” by Bidfood in a recent report – 35% of people surveyed said they ate out at breakfast more frequently than they did two years ago. In America, you can now get everything from burgers to bao buns at any time, and this looks to be a step in the same direction. Plus, the timing for a new and unusual breakfast couldn’t be better, as early-morning palates are steadily getting more adventurous – just ask Nobu Shoreditch, which introduced the breakfast bento with umami seabass last month.
For those with little time or cash to spare, The Billingsgate makes perfect sense as a morning treat. In a fast-casual age where we’re time poor but want more bang for our buck, we’re saying Clark is the first, but probably not the last, to surf this particular food wave.