Milk Balham | South London Brunch Café of Legend
Drinka pinta milka day. – 1961 advert
Eata brunchat Milka week. – Us
In our new, and entirely unelected, role as public health advisors, we’d like to begin by addressing your recommended weekly intake of caramel-topped buckwheat pancakes, sweetcorn fritter stacks and scrambled eggs with smoked caviar.
The prescription: a visit to Milk – a Balham fixture since 2012 and a beacon calling diners from all corners of the city. Three years in they bought the shop next door, knocked through the walls and doubled their size; a move that did absolutely nothing to thin out the queues weaving through the door and along Hildreth Street market. They remain, unfortunately, a walk-in only restaurant, but even at weekends you’re unlikely to wait for longer than half an hour for a table.
Outside, there’s a smattering of al fresco tables on the pedestrianised street which are frequently blessed with sunshine, while inside you’ll be met with stripped back, crumbling whitewashed brick walls, pale wood furnishings, a salvaged 50s bathroom and plenty of plants adorning the unusually-shaped space.
The menu at Milk Balham is a combination of regular and guest cast members. Classics include the Young Betty, a souped up eggs royale made with dry cured and oak-smoked bacon from nearby Clapham butchers M. Moen; alongside baked eggs with feta and sage; Full English burgers packed with hash browns, eggs, and showered in soft curls of parmesan; and the Sweet Maria – a reclining stack of sweetcorn fritters, halloumi, avocado and chopped tomato…
…but on any given weekend, you’ll also find a seasonally changing topping to their buckwheat pancakes. Previous riffs have included coco de nata, yuzu parfait, green tea and sesame praline; strawberries and wild meadowsweet; and blood orange, stem ginger posset and burnt marzipan. They’re also jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Drinks and desserts are equally worthy of top billing – there is, of course, excellent coffee (both hot, from Swedish roasters Koppi, and iced, served in Milk-branded beer bottles); freshly pressed juices; and Milk’s famous soft-serve ice cream, in quirky flavours like kaffir lime leaf, roasted kinako (Japanese soy flour) and bee pollen with honeycomb.
It’s a big claim, but if anyone can bear the title of best brunch in South London… it’s Milk.
NOTE: Milk is open for brunch all day, every day, 8am-3.30pm (4pm Sat, 9am-4pm Sundays). There are no bookings; find out more HERE.
Milk Balham | 18-20 Bedford Hill, SW12 9RG
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