Spice Market: Half-asleep (May 2015)

Health warning for readers at the beginning of this review: this is going to be opinionated. Three of us recently breakfasted at Spice Market and it has to rate as one of the most disappointing and unprofessional culinary experiences in which I have recently partaken in London. What Spice Market may gain from being in the ostensibly ‘cool’ W Hotel (itself nestled in an incongruous location between the tourist trap of Leicester Square and the seedier end of Soho), it palpably lost in terms of food and service. Admittedly breakfast may not show a place at its best or allow the chefs to demonstrate the full palate of their experience, but surely the principles of how to run an establishment serving food ought to be adhered to at all times of the day? When we arrived for breakfast, the place was half-empty and the staff, correspondingly, seemed half-asleep. Despite such a palpable absence of life, our three – very uncontroversial – breakfast requests took an inordinately long time to arrive and were wrong across the board. One of my dining comrades had selected the poached eggs, but for whatever reason the chef had had mistaken the instruction and hard-boiled them within an inch of their poor lives. Such was the output (if it deserves such a word) that my comrade refused to eat it. Even our server was forced to agree that she would not eat it… The other failings were not quite so egregious, but notable nonetheless. Another member of our party did not get his requested maple syrup at the same time as his pancakes while my smoked salmon and scrambled egg were quite distinctly separate rather than being mixed together as requested. So, zero out of three. We got a half-murmured, semi-contrite apology and some vouchers for drinks at the bar. Despite such an offer, I certainly have no intention of returning.