M1lk in Balham, or, as most people call it, Milk, came highly recommended from a friend, so on one slightly hungover Sunday morning we headed South to see what all the fuss was about. A back-alley cafe with little signage (this place survives from word-of-mouth) – there was a short queue when we arrived, and after 15 minutes we were seated on one of the old-school benches outside. The painted ‘M1lk’ over the old pub name and the brothelesque neon sign on the dirty brick wall behind the bar gave us an idea of the type of messy, untraditional breakfast we were about to experience.
The service is laid back – we were told about the specials which included Baked Kurdish eggs, served with crispy spinach or chorizo, or the legendary ‘Convict’ dish which we then ordered from the bar.
I’d been told that the smoothies were scrumptious so I tried the Lauren – a Strawberry, Mango and Banana blend served in a Dairy Crest milk bottle and it definitely lived up to expectations!
We all couldn’t resist the sound of The Convict; a proper english muffin with dry cure bacon, Moems & Sons sausage (Moems & Sons is a well-known quality butchers in Clapham), burford brown egg, poacher hash and hangover sauce.
Food is sourced from local independent suppliers around London and the Southeast. The meats are from organic heritage farms in Norfolk, Sussex and Surrey. Upon recommendation of our waiter, we also ordered an additional speciality sausage and smoked salmon – at £4 a side I thought these were a little overpriced, but delicious none-the-less!
As if an epic breakfast isn’t enough, there are also a selection of cakes and cookies on the bar. If I hadn’t been so full I would have loved a slice of the Pink Party Rings cake – judging the ‘Mmmmms’ and ‘Oh yeaaahhss’ from the guys on the table next to us, I’d say it’s probably pretty good!
M1lk has been hailed as the best breakfast South of the river, and while the experience and food was extraordinary, I’m reluctant to give it the number one spot over the likes of The Ferm on Clapham High Street and The Breakfast Club on Battersea Rise – but each have a totally different vibe.
If you’re looking for a seriously hearty brunch at a caff with plenty of atmosphere then I would certainly recommend that you give M1lk a try.
Where’s your favourite brunch South of the river? I’d love to hear your recommendations!