‘I went to the South London cafe where people queue for brunch and it’s so delicious I’d happily wait for hours’ – Jessica Battison

We are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to brunch in London. Except they’re not always all they’re made up to be.

There’s one place in particular that is totally unavoidable in the brunch chats.

I hear about its queues, I read about them, I see videos of them. Could yet another London brunch be worth standing around in the cold for?

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In case you haven’t guessed, I am of course referring to Balham’s very own Milk Cafe.

I’ve been curious for quite a while and with images of their dishes on Instagram constantly making my mouth water, I just had to find out if its really worth the hype.

Travelling over on a weekday morning to avoid that famous rush, I prepared myself to be disappointed by another boring basic brunch.

The perfect chilled brunch atmosphere

And oh how wrong I was.

Inside the bright, airy and clean space, tables held chattering groups of people yet it still radiates a perfectly chilled-out atmosphere.

Despite grey skies outside, it somehow feels sunny inside Milk.

Sitting inside this millennial haven I tricked myself into thinking I was on holiday. It’s just such good vibes, it kind of feels similar to the brunch spots that litter Bondi Beach in Australia.

My brunch kicked off exceptionally with a beautiful iced coffee- I know it’s cold, but like I said something about Milk just makes you feel sunny inside.

I had been told to get myself their bottled iced coffee but they’re only available with cow’s milk so I went with a large soy iced latte (£3.50 + 30p) instead.

You know when you have that first sip of coffee and you just know it’s perfect? This is rich and smooth with that proper roasted flavour running underneath. Yummy.

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Just looking back at this picture has me drooling

Quickly after ordering, my rainbow of pretty plates arrived. And I found myself swaying along to the background chilled beats in mindless admiration of my food.

The Sweet Maria (£8.50) of crispy sweetcorn fritters, grilled halloumi, kasundi, coriander and lime steamed radiantly

I’ve never knowingly had kasundi before and honestly, what an experience. It’s rich and spicy and tomatoey, similar to the sauce in shakshuka but with a tartness of firey mustard.

The halloumi is thick and silky and the corn fritters full of flavour. It all tastes fantastically fresh with the welcoming lifts of avocado and coriander and punch of lime.

Eating this takes away any feeling that it’s actually absolutely freezing and grey and grim outside in South London.

Sided with their iconic Poacher Hash, I truly spoiled myself. The seductive stack of three large hash browns were showered with sharp parmesan.

The ultimate carby treat, they were mild in flavour yet so, so comfortingly tasty with that golden crispy crunch that could make anyone weak at the knees.

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Just LOOK at this

I finished off this banquet brunch with the main thing I hear raved about the most: the Banana Bread (£5.60).

Usually, I’m not a banana bread kind of gal- I survived all three lockdowns without a single loaf gracing my oven. But, I just couldn’t miss out on this.

Milk tops it with this whipped halva butter and toasted pumpkin seed tahini and to be quite honest, it was a romantic experience.

As I bit into a little conservative chunk, the crisp burnt top of the halva butter burst apart, oozing this delicious earthy, rich and nutty butter into my mouth.

Like nothing I’ve tasted before, that unbelievable topping perfectly balanced out the sweetness of the brick of bread itself.

Totally moist and dense, it all melts into your mouth with sweet satisfaction

That whipped butter has truly changed the banana bread game for me, I think I’m in love.

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I can certainly eat a lot, but unsurprisingly this was all a bit too much- even for me.

So I happily strutted home with my cutesy baby pink bag in hand, parading my delicious goods to carry on this food date later in the day- in private.

Milk really surprised me. Finally, a gorgeous brunch place that’s actually worth the hype.

Most of these types of spots focus on aesthetics first and then the food quality, taste and temperature is secondary. But at Milk Cafe, every thing is paid attention to by the friendly staff- and it pays off.

Plus, I think it’s actually well priced with lower charges than you’d expect elsewhere.

Is this the best brunch in London? It’s a sexily strong contender for me.

Now I will be RUNNING back to get my hands on more of that butter. See you in those queues

You can find Milk Cafe at 18-20 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9RG.

Do you have a favourite hidden gem restaurant, pub or bar in London that you think we should know about? If so, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

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