In my first instalment of seeking out the best brunch in Balham, I gave Milk Cafe’s inventive menu a whirl…
My biggest issue when it comes to eating out with other people is the ridiculous amounts of food envy that it always results in. Even if I’ve got a Michelin-starred dish and you’ve got a Pot Noodle, I’ll still probably want a bite.
Food envy most certainly came into play during August’s office brunch club. The first of its kind, it sprung from conversations about the great places to have brunch in Balham, where we’re based. Downing tools at 11am on a Friday, because why not, a group of us went to check out Milk, a stylish artisan café serving up inventive twists on classic brunches.
The coffee was a great start – rich and smooth and a great mid-morning pick-me-up. Props go to the Cold Brew Tonic which split opinion. Yep, that’s coffee. And tonic water. As someone who prefers my drinks cold and fizzy, it rocked my world. It might belong firmly in the hipster realm (Milk’s was served in a science-class style beaker), but it’s totally worth a try.
Back to that food, though. Despite my dish not having the Insta-porn chops of other offerings; I’m glad it was the one I got to eat. The Sweet Maria brings grilled halloumi, tomato, avocado and kasundi (an Asian/Bengali spicy tomato sauce) tucked amongst sweetcorn fritters. And I bloody LOVED it.
The Kasundi especially added a whole new twist onto what brunch ‘should’ be – the little international tweaks across the board were a real highlight of Milk’s menu. Despite my initial reservations that it was a pretty small portion, the whole thing was pretty filling. I could still have easily enjoyed a few more mouthfuls though.
Everyone else’s dishes were definitely a little more sizable, and showed the same creative ingredient composition.
Next time I’m at Milk, I’ll definitely have to get my face around The Convict. A toasted muffin filled with bacon, egg, hash brown, cheese and sauce, it’s basically the thinking (wo)man’s McMuffin. But a lot better. Remember that food envy I mentioned earlier? The Convict turned it up to 11.
Also on the menu? Some sexy looking Baked Eggs served up in their skillet; a wonderfully dramatic avocado and pea hummus toast with halloumi and egg on the side (The Gaia); and smoked mackerel on toast. All of which I’m assured tasted as good as they looked.
For the first instalment of Brunch Club, Milk was an excellent choice. Outdoor seating, fresh and creative menu options, and of course – quality coffee. Whatever our next venue (suggestions for brunch in Balham welcomed!), this one’s gonna be hard to beat.
18-20 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9RG