Established as a street food business in Los Angeles during 2011, eggslut is the latest popular US restaurant to arrive in the UK, with the new London site marking the brand’s eighth worldwide outpost.
Since launching in the UK last month, the brand’s controversial name has divided opinion, allegedly a chef’s term referring to people who always say ‘add an egg to it’. The restaurant adheres to its namesake, no less, by serving a parade of egg-focussed dishes, aiming to make eggs appetising as an all-day food option. It’s estimated that eggslut’s Notting Hill venue will get through as many as 20,000 eggs in its first year. The UK’s first sample of eggslut came with this summer’s Taste of London, with the hysterically genuflected egg buns demanding constant queues, some of which lasted for up to 90 minutes.
“The aim was to create a unique, gourmet food offering and to pioneer the trend of the egg. The concept quickly gained popularity and the long queues of LA foodies reflected this,” eggslut Managing Director, Whitney White Myrus, tells The London Economic. “The trend of the egg is ever-increasing in the UK so it seemed like a natural next step to bring eggslut to London.”
Launched by classically-trained chef Alvin Cailan and his cousin, eggslut has grown a cult following in Los Angeles, renowned for a collection of signature dishes using high quality, locally-sourced ingredients. “Our high quality suppliers and ingredients result in a unique gourmet food offering like no other,” says Whitney. “Using Clarence Court’s Burford Browns eggs and Bread Ahead Bakery buns, the London restaurant is dedicated to using local suppliers.”
The idea is to combine the quality of gourmet food with the service of a fast-food restaurant. At the Portobello Road restaurant (occupying the former Pix Pintxos site) just along from the Electric Cinema, the small space is fronted by a counter, where chefs gently prepare the dishes to queues of customers given the option to take-away or to eat in at the back of the venue with its cascade of natural light; festooned with indoor plants and artwork from London-based street artist Woskerski. The entire operation is very much a fast-food concept, however.
“Notting Hill is a foodie hot spot with a lot to offer. The west London neighbourhood has a vibrant feel and buzzing artist community. This was something which we considered when opening the restaurant on Portobello Road’” Whitney explains, on the choice of location for the brand’s first UK restaurant. “Sharing a similar feel to Venice Beach in LA, this lively spot is perfect to welcome London’s first eggslut.”
On the menu, the restaurant offers a selection of their Instagram-famous dishes, including the likes of the ‘Gaucho’, featuring Wagyu tri-tip steak and a fried egg; a cheeseburger; egg salad; and one sole dessert – a chocolate chip cookie embellished with a healthy pinch of sea salt.
A sausage, egg and cheese bun favours an ‘over-medium’ egg (basically an egg that’s fried, flipped in the pan and served with a relatively runny yolk), cheddar cheese, honey mustard aioli and a healthy turkey sausage patty – a meat substitution that shouldn’t work, given turkey’s inherent blandness, but does manage to complement the other ingredients. A McDonald’s McMuffin this is not, nor should it be for £9.50.
One of the brand’s most popular dishes, the ‘Slut’ is served in a jam jar featuring silky mashed potato and a coddled, just-cooked egg: a gloriously insalubrious concoction that demands to be mixed and scooped up with the accompanying slices of thin, toasted bread.
Named after the LA street on which Cailan used to park his truck, ‘The Fairfax’ comprises a firm, slightly sweet brioche bun packed with caramelised onions, cheddar cheese and sriracha mayonnaise alongside the main event: scrambled eggs, which are placed into a cold pan, whole, with hunks of butter and constantly whipped. An established eggslut favourite, and quite rightly so.
After lunch, I ask Whitney if there are any plans to roll out any other eggslut branches in the near future, after cracking London?
“Our focus is on London at the moment. Shoreditch and Soho are locations which we’ve got our eye on. Stay tuned.”
eggslut can be found at 185 Portobello Road, London, W11 2ED.