My idea of a good brunch involves soul enriching dim sum and a whole load of dark pu erh tea to wash it down with. I’m a simple human and a creature of habit. Alas, it’s time to expand into the unknown and explore brunch culture. Brew Cafe seems to fit the right candidacy – it has all the hallmarks of what I heard good brunch is about: Baked goods onsite, be cakes, sour dough; a small holding of herbs-stroke-vegetables, majestic coffee and smoothies. They even have a pizza oven. Do I sound like a brunch warrior yet? The minimalist design is all about duck egg colours, probably reclaimed wood flooring and soft white edges. The same goes for the wooden topped tables and matching chairs. I’m surrounded by yummy mummies, sons with their mums, daughters with their mums, young couples and gym bunnies without a sweat on their brow. There’s not a single hungover face in sight. It seems like a place for long and short grazing too.
When we got here for circa 9.30am, the restaurant was already half full. Eating with as far as my eyes could take me, I couldn’t help noticing the deeply luxurious looking eggs, with the hue of the sun landing on my neighbours’ tables. A further enquiry informs me that they’re “folded eggs” £9 made from Burford Brown hens, and they’re probably from a pampered animal that was on named terms with the farmer. Simply-hewn in a non-stick pan, they are just set before they are brought to you on two slices of sour-dough. They are unquestionably nice to eat, but the price makes me a little queasy.
I get a side of smoky bacon and Boston beans £3.50 which are lovely to eat. The meal had invariably set me up for a trip to the zoo.
The boss got the smashed avocado with a welcome hit of citrus and cottage cheese, all on toasted pide £9.50. The feedback is reported as positive.
Getting to grips with my new found brunch status and hanging on the coat tails of the previous flourishes here, I came back for more.
The other thing that caught my eye last time, and got my love handles vibrating were the door stop slabs of toasted banana bread £5.90. It comes with honeyed pistachio yogurt designed for slathering. They were absolutely knock-out. The sugar content would have my dentist rubbing his hands with my green.
Craving something savoury to shove in my fat face, I ordered the “brew melt” £12.50. It’s the very essence of how a good croque madame should be – there’s thick cut ham, gruyere, those Burford Browns feature, poached this time, a generous dollop of pesto, all on toasted pide. It was undeniably satisfying.
The boss goes for a “brew brunch bowl” £10. It’s a mixed foliage of beans, quinoa, peas, broccoli, feta, pomegranate and zesty mint dressing. I have no qualms about eating healthily, but the less said about this dish the better.
The other things I saw that caused minor food envy during previous visits, was the sweetcorn fritters. They’re cooked on a non-stick pan until the sugars just catch and brown. They get a flipping like pancakes, which essentially they are, the other side gets the same browning treatment. They come with home made tomato jam, avocado and lime aioli £11.90. They’re not as charming as the other things I’ve eaten here, but satisfying nonetheless.
I am a proud glutton for the toasted banana bread £5.90, somehow my fillings are still in my teeth too since the last outing, but my love handles have grown quite considerably, so has my happiness.
When did I go? Apr 2017, Sept 2017, Dec 2018
The damage: Expect to pay £15/20 per head with coffee
The good: There’s no denying that there is some really pleasing food here with calories well spent. The brew melt and toasted banana bread were stand out as are anything with the Burford hen eggs to be fair.
The bad: There’s no fireworks per se here, but what you get it great quality ingredients done well. It’s not cheap for what it is but London wages aren’t so you’ll need to suck it up just like how I did.
Would I go again? When the craving comes
Address: 21 High Street, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5DX