Bean and Hop has recently been taken over and undergone a refurbishment. We were looking forward to trying them out and taking a nose at the new interior, so we headed there for brunch on Saturday. Since it opened, Bean and Hop has been a busy and popular coffee and brunch spot for the people of Earlsfield. At weekends it can be difficult to get a table and the previous layout made it tricky to manoeuvre your way through. The new layout has created more space and decluttered the interior. There is now space for at least 10 more people inside and the place has a modern and clean feel to it. We easily found a table on Saturday morning.
We were pleased to see that the menu hadn’t really changed and still included a wide range of options.
Bean and Hop has always served good coffee but as it was very warm we both decided to go for cold options: a cold brew tea and a cold brew coffee. For our food, we decided on a full brunch plate and a sweet potato, halloumi and aubergine stack.
Having placed our order we sat back to take in the surroundings and wait for everything to arrive. And we waited…and we waited some more. 25 minutes after placing our order our waitress walked by and realised we were still waiting, and went to chase up our drinks. We were really hungry by this point and our brunch was fast becoming more of a lunch.
The drinks did finally arrive about 5 minutes later, and the cold brew tea was nice and refreshing. Sadly, the cold brew coffee was a little disappointing; quite weak and a bitter after taste to it.
Eventually, after another 10 minutes of waiting, we asked another waitress how much longer our food was going to be. We were told it was being prepared and would be 5 minutes. So, approximately 45 minutes after placing our order, we finally received our food.
I have to say, the sweet potato, halloumi and aubergine stack itself was pleasant but it was served with a whole bag of rocket which was just overkill. No human needs that amount of rocket.
There was clearly an attempt at some fancy presentation with the brunch plate which was served with a smear of chilli ketchup and the food piled up on the other side of the plate. This was a little unnecessary and just meant everything had to be un-piled before it could be eaten. No complaints about the taste of it all though, especially the chilli ketchup which was really good with a bit of bacon and egg.
After all that, we did leave feeling a bit miffed. The whole brunch had cost us £29 and hadn’t really felt like good value, and taken just about an hour. The service in Bean and Hop had always been a little slower than average before the refurb but they had 6 members of staff working on Saturday, many of whom had worked there previously, and it was a little chaotic. We weren’t the only ones complaining about the slowness of the food and drinks arriving. The staff didn’t seem to know which table was which and orders were taken to the wrong table on several occasions.
We really hope this was just teething trouble and that things improve as it would be a real shame to see such a popular place go downhill.