Is it really brunch if there isn't a long queue outside? That's what I asked myself as I joined the other hungry folk outside M1Lk, desperately craving food on a Sunday afternoon.
Just a few steps away from Balham station, the cafe is tucked down a small side street where the other brunch spots and local flower markets pop up every weekend, making it a cosy place to explore if you find yourself in South London. Luckily for me, its just a couple of minutes walk my flat, but I'm not smug one bit...
As a winner by Timeout in 2014, and runner-up 2015 and 2016, we had no doubt it would be worth our time. The queue died down remarkably quickly and we were greeted by smiles and chats by waiters who were happy to sit down and have a chat with you as you decide what to order (as well as pointing out the achingly-hipster vinyl in the corner as you ask what retro tune is playing).
The menu boasts some delicious and slightly different brunch options, with poached eggs and porridge the usual choices with a twist, such as kaeserkrainer (cheese filled Austrian sausage) or the edition of 'flowers' on top of your crumpets.
My 'Young Betty' (poached eggs on Brixton sourdough) were probably some of the best poached eggs I've ever had with the tastiest bright orange yolk being achingly runny in the middle. And the popular hangover choice of 'The Convict' went down a treat with my friend practically licking down the sides... I've also sampled the 'Sweet Maria' sweetcorn fritters which I utterly, entirely recommend. In London, it's easy to make sure your food isn't just amazing but also ethically sourced; M1LK proudly gets it's food from local independent suppliers around London and the Southeast (including my hometown Oxford) as well as getting the meat from heritage farms in Norfolk, Sussex and Surrey. They have a choice of mood-boosting smoothies as well as the usual supply of coffees from Koppi beans and herbal teas. Or a glass of wine if your hangover requires...
I'll be returning not just for the food but the service; the friendly, hipster, Aussie waiters make you feel like you can stay as long as you like, no matter the queue length. Exactly how I like my brunch to be.