Unfortunately I’ve been saying Hollyberry this whole time. But holy belly makes a lot more sense – and it’s not a bad name for a business built on the pursuit of excellent food with the mantra “It’s good because we care”.
We had two attempts. The first time we were foolhardy and rocked up at exactly brunch o’clock on a Sunday. I’d anticipated a queue but not one that outlasted the opening hours in wait time. So we tried again on a drizzly Monday morning and were seated straight away.
Service was nice from the start without erring into cheesy Americana. And although the menus headlined a slightly hackneyed catechism of their food philosophy, I was happy to suspend any cynicism until I’d eaten something.
The choice wasn’t huge, which made life easier, so I ordered the savoury stack that I’d seen instagrammed several times over. Happily, it was as drool worthy as it looked. The pancakes were beautifully light and fluffy with crisp edges and the heavy dousing of maple syrup was balanced with fried eggs and salty streaks of bacon.
I also tried the sausage patty with fennel (a wonderful flavour duo) and the egg based dishes with sides looked good. There was a slight lack of greenery across the dining room that made me realise the menu had excluded the ubiquitous avocado – a brave move these days – but they might have made up for it with some other token greens. Coffee was also on point, with the beans roasted especially for Holybelly in nearby Belleville.
In all, it didn’t knock me off my shabby chic bar stool but it admirably performed to its reputation. I recommend it for reliably good brunch food from people that put lots of love and care into what they do. Just try not to go on a Sunday.
Value for money: 8/10