It seems a shame to start 2015 with a bad review but it also seems a shame to have seen out 2014 with such a bad experience. M leaves for Australia in a couple of weeks and he'd decided to have one last fling at The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. A hidden bar beneath blogger favourite, The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields, you have to ask 'to see the Mayor' before being shown to the bar through a SMEG fridge. Kitsch yes, but that's why people come, isn't it?
So we showed up on a Tuesday night, hovered at the edge of The Breakfast Club's less-than-a-quarter-full restaurant and waited for about ten minutes until a waitress came over to say hello. There was an hour wait for a spot downstairs in Scaredy Cat Town but our pals' names were already on the list, so would we like some food? Sure. An espresso martini each, a mountain of nachos with sad-looking shop brought guacamole, a portion of bizarrely sweet macaroni cheese and £54 later, we checked whether we could head downstairs yet. Half an hour later the host came back, gestured vaguely in the direction of the refrigerator and carried on chatting to colleagues. Hmm.
Down stairs that promise 'Thrills' and into a small speakeasy space with good posters, wacky taxidermy and unfriendly barmen. We were told to wait at the bar as our table wasn't ready (hmm) and then told we couldn't wait at the bar because 'people may need to sit there'. People like us, you mean? I said we'd been waiting an hour and a half for a table - the barman then essentially told me I was lying. Ouch.
Eventually we were shown to a table and got to the drinks. A nice-ish menu, even if half the seasonal drinks all tasted the same, and relatively reasonably priced around the £9 mark - the stand-out must order favourite is definitely the Peat-nut Butter Cup (Four Roses bourbon, advocaat, dark chocolate, liqueur 43, peanut butter and Laphroaig spray). But, similar to the waitresses upstairs save for an absolute babe called Colette, service was slow and seemed a chore.
The Breakfast Club constantly has people lining up around the block to get a seat inside its sunshine yellow walls. After a disappointing hard shake in its Soho branch once, I've never understood the hype and after this visit to the Spitalfields outpost, I doubt I'll go back. Whether it's the curse of popularity and the steady stream of customers means the staff don't particularly care about the quality of the service they provide, I'm not sure but I certainly won't be asking for citizenship.