Brunch at Gusto, West Bridgford – review

Friday night drinks call for a Saturday morning refuel, right? My friend and I certainly think so. We love a post-night out breakfast trip, and we’ve worked our way through a few places in Nottingham city centre, but as I’ve just moved to West Bridgford this week, this was the perfect opportunity to try somewhere new.

We ended up in Gusto, which opened a branch here just over a year ago. It describes itself as ‘classic and contemporary’, which tends to mean British with bits of Italian. Whatever its culinary style, it offers a brunch menu (complete with breakfast cocktails), and that was enough for us. The interior is beautiful – lots of lighting and greenery. It also has a lovely outdoor patio, which I imagine is perfect for summer drinks and dining. The brunch menu wasn’t exhaustive but it looked to be well thought-out, with a focus on good quality ingredients.

We never have much trouble putting food away, but this morning called for something special – not so hungover that you can’t eat, but rather that particular state of hangover that renders your stomach a ravenous, demanding void. Yes, it was time for two breakfasts.

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Mildly hungover me

Service was a little slow to say there was only one other party in the restaurant (perhaps we weren’t the only ones suffering from the Saturday morning haze), but it was friendly, and featured suitably shocked/impressed reactions to our large order.

All our dishes arrived at once, which I was appreciative of – the tapas revolution of the last few years has too many restaurants feeling complacent with the ‘as and when’ style of service, but sometimes you just want everything in front of you to tackle as you please.  First up on the taste test was the thing that initially caught our eyes on the menu – toasted bloomer with figs, goat’s cheese and honey.

Figs, goat’s cheese & honey on toast

Next was a brunch classic: Eggs Royale (poached eggs, smoked salmon & Hollandaise sauce on an English muffin).

Eggs Royale

The first noticeable element of this dish were the ACTUAL flowers that had been plonked on the top of each egg. Why? Your guess is as good mine, but it’s probably the same school of thinking that produced the random greenery atop the first dish. After a bemused look at each other my friend and I both promptly flicked the petals away.

Flashy florals aside, this had some solid strong points. The eggs were poached to perfection and the salmon was juicy and plentiful (some places really skimp on it, so it’s nice to have it layered on thick). But it wasn’t perfect; the Hollandaise, while rich and creamy, was a tad lumpy and I’d have preferred the muffin toastier.

Part of the drive behind ordering two dishes came from the surprisingly reasonable prices; the toast came in at £5.95, and the Eggs Royale was only a pound more at £6.95 – not bad, especially when some places are pushing it for the best part of a tenner. Did it fill me with Gusto? I’d say it did a fairly good job, and I’ll certainly be back to try the evening menu at some point too.

robyn’s review: 6.5/10


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