Brunch is the new lunch. I said it. Like many 20-something Londoners, brunch is one of my favourite things to do on a saturday and/or sunday. I am always looking out for a new place to brunch and my newest haunt is M1lk in Balham.
M1lk is conveniently close to where I live but this doesn’t mean that I get there early enough to not have to queue. I’m in love with M1lk’s kitch and quirky decor, I am not, however, in love with the small bearded man who deliberately wears his T-shirts inside out with artfully torn holes. Most of the staff are Australian or New Zealanders and I always feel sorry for the chefs because they cook from behind what looks like a prison cell.
The menu is presented to you on an old school metal clipboard and typed up by a typewriter. The chairs don’t match and sometimes you have to do the whole sharing a table thing, which bugs me Grace Dent style. M1lk has it’s own little touches that make up for the faddy, nonchalant trend in hipster dining these days, like how they give you milk with your coffee in a little milk bottle and sprinkle edible petals over your pancakes – so cute.
The food is achingly hipster as well and my go to brunch option is the convict. A breakfast tower cooked with an abundance of quality bacon and sausage presented with egg, hash brown in a muffin of sorts. There may be some cheese in there, I wouldn’t know because the dish is saturated in what they call “hangover sauce”, a mouthwateringly saucy, vinegary concoction which you want by the bucket load. The dish could be a load of shit because this sauce is nirvana on the tongue.
What I also really enjoy about M1lk is that they have a specials board which has yet to disappoint me in choice. This means if you aren’t the breakfasting sort, which I wasn’t until recently, you can opt for a luncheon style dish. One visit I had a creamy pate dish with blood orange chutney and soda bread toasts and another time some Mexican street style taco which was glorious, all porky and dribbling with flavour, but placed in a rather poorly thought out metal dish which meant it was impossible to cut into. Cute but annoyingly impractical.
I think all in all M1lk is the pinnacle of hipster brunching. The ingredients have heartwarming conscious sating stories like “produce from independent, local, family-owned suppliers” and “organic, heritage and rare-breed meats from individual farms in Sussex, Norfolk and Surrey”. The food is a Latin, English, American twistathon that most pop up diners are serving these days. The staff are really friendly, the venue is too small and the waiting times are too long.
But I know you cant resist a visit anyway!