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13 November 2018

brunch at | brother marcus, balham

i'm always on the hunt for a good coffee close to home, and after the last successful brunch in balham, i was keen to try another. brother marcus had been on my list for a while, as it's only ever talked about in such high esteem - and being as australian as they are, i knew i'd at least bag myself a decent coffee. fellow aussie jasmin and i headed down a few weekends ago - me with a raging hangover, her, suffering cabin fever, to see if it really lived up to the hype. spoiler alert: it did.

again, i had a hangover, so all i wanted was drink. i ordered an almond flat white for energy, and one of the cafe's fresh smoothies to get my nutrients back. the one i wanted they were out of, so i grabbed one with acai, strawberry and banana one with chia and some other sort of seed, cos seeds is healthy, innit. the juice was wonderful, if not plentiful, and i could easily have gone a second if not for the price tag (£4.50 for a smoothie is outrageous if you ask me). the coffee was great too - a local south london blend, and you could smell it the minute you opened the front door. you know that really welcoming, warming coffee smell? that. not the burnt, bitter scent you too often smell in those coffee shops that churn out coffee after coffee, with no regard for the art of a good brew. brother marcus understand a good brew.

the thing about brother marcus is, you can't make bookings, so we had to just turn up and hope. we picked a weird time - 12:30 - to meet, because somehow my logic said that it would be less busy then. like, people go at even times, don't they? midday, 1pm, 3pm, etc.. 12:30 seemed like it would be less busy.. and, it was. when we got there, there was a small wait - not even ten minutes, before we were shown to a table with some spare seats for us. by the time we left, there was a pretty decent line, thus proving my even numbers theory...

i'd been for a boozy brunch the day before, where i'd had pancakes and maple and all that good stuff, but my hangover was begging for something more wholesome. so, instead of going with my head and ordering the 'sugar daddy' - brioche french toast, coconut custard, bacon floss and sugar syrup (good grief even writing it now makes me regret everything), i went with a couple of the light plates from the starter section. at four quid a plate, i figured i'd get more bang for my buck. i went for grilled aubergine with chilli on beetroot hummus, honey and seasme glazed tenderstem broccoli, and grilled halloumi with orange and pistachio. are you drooling as you read this? if you're not, you should be.

readers: ordering vegetables was absolutely the right decision, let me assure you. that sweet broccoli, the deep flavours in the beetroot hummus, the tender, tender aubergine.. my body was rejoicing with all the good that was on my plate. my only regret was filling up and not leaving any room for any of the cafe's homemade and seasonal bakes. i was 100% eyeing up one of the fresh pastel de natas - because, well, when isn't that a good idea?

i'll definitely be back for those, and the french toast my tastebuds missed out on because of my hangover. there's also a great little outdoor area that i think would be quite nice to have a coffee in one lazy sunday afternoon. plus: there was a dog there with his single dad. need i say more?

find the brother marcus branches here.

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