The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Brew, Clapham Junction

Brew
45 Northcote Road
Clapham Junction
SW11 1NJ

by Dee Caff

It’s all very bourgeois urbanite chic in Brew, with its edgy grey paint-job and wonky hanging mirrors and clock. A well thought-out Sinatra/Franklin soundtrack and a counter flaunting hand-made cakes, cookies and pastries seem promising as me, my companion, and our plummeting blood sugar levels stop in for some much needed breakfast.

It’s packed out and, after squeezing our way onto a table next to a couple who are eating in belligerent silence, we squint at the blackboard. To my horror there’s no sign of a full English. ‘Tomatoes on sour dough’ and ‘granola with blueberries’ just isn’t going to cut it. “I’ll make my own full English, you fools,” I think smugly as I piece together some components in a grasping attempt to bring some substance to the table. I’m hoping that poached eggs on toast with a side of ‘field mushrooms with pesto and cream’ and ‘Lincolnshire sausages’ will do the job.

Now, you may be imagining, from my onslaught about the unsubstantial nature of this wholesome sounding fare, that I’m some kind of meat guzzling, oil slugging philistine. I’m not, I just don’t like getting ripped off by people with pretensions that only serve to make their customers miserable. When, after about 15 minutes our breakfasts finally come, my Lincolnshire sausages are served cut lenthways in half and lightly griddled. I think the Brew crew should familiarise themselves with the expression “If it ain’t broke...”

My field mushrooms are tasty at first, but after two mouthfuls, I’m stopped in my tracks by the cloying, creamy pesto sauce they’re drowning in. My companion’s ‘Ham, cheese, tomato and poached egg, pesto melt’ has the same problem. There’s just too much going on for this time in the morning. The whole sorry episode comes to a whopping £24, and we’re quite aggressively probed to buy more coffee as we sink into the morning papers. We opt to leave instead.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Ex-Claphamite said...

Haha does Zangief still work there?

He looks like this:

http://tinyurl.com/68y3ez

And do they still serve all the pieces with separate pieces of razor sharp ciabatta?

7:55 PM, July 14, 2008  
Blogger msaims said...

shite. pesto on mushies? GROSS!!!
creamy pesto. ick!

mushies, salt, butter, hot pan. why mess with perfection.

1:39 AM, July 15, 2008  
Blogger Chris said...

Northcote Road used to be alright for food, now it's just overpriced trash. The Spanish tapas place is alright though.

Go to the vegetable stalls on a Saturday if you want to pay £5 for a lettuce. I shit you not.

10:57 AM, July 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cream and pesto should never meet. This place sounds like Clapham distilled and plated. Ew!

11:00 AM, July 15, 2008  
Anonymous Ashley said...

YOU PEOPLE REALLY ANNOY ME.
WHY GO TO CLAPHAM WHEN YOU KNOW ITS NOT CHEAP IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I AM A REGULAR AT BREW AND SINCE IT HAS CHANGED HANDS IT REALLY IS AN AMAZING PLACE.
THE FOOD IS ALWAYS AT A GOOD STANDARD AND THE COFFEE IS SPECTACULAR!!
IF YOU WANT FATTY FRIED EGGS AND A CUP OF FILTER COFFEE FOR 3£ THEN GO TO MCDONALDS!

11:09 PM, August 19, 2009  
Blogger Chris said...

I'M WITH ASHLEY.YOU CHAVS CAN KEEP YOUR NECKS OUT OF CLAPHAM,YOU'LL ONLY BRING THE TONE DOWN.SOMETIMES I GIVE A LARGE TIP TO THE WAITRESS AT BREW TO GO OUTSIDE SOMERFIELD AND KICK A HOMELESS PERSON.

BETTER GET BACK TO WORK NOW,THIS CREAMY PESTO WONT SHIFT ITSELF

2:14 PM, August 20, 2009  
Blogger Kirsty said...

I went on last Saturday and had a truly appalling experience, We waited nearly 45 minutes to be served cold eggs florentine. The waitresses were abrupt, rude, forgetful and unhelpful. All-told, a rather unpleasant experience I would not wish to repeat.

10:54 AM, September 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Brew - amazing coffee & delicious food - the best place for breakfast on Northcote Road. It has great imaginative veggie options and the mushrooms with cream & pesto is delicious and everything tastes extra good on sourdough, yum! The only downside is that it's a little pricey, especially the side dishes at £3 each, but food is so good its worth it.

11:24 PM, October 08, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brew is a wonderful place. I visit there regularly and always have delicious food and great service. Most recently had chorizo, pumpkin and spinach stew, cappucino and juice all for just 11pounds absolute bargain for that area. The ingredients always are full of flavour and taste fresh. The coffee is a bit hit and miss - sometimes excellent sometimes average, i guess some of the waitresses have just been better trained at coffee making than others. I've never been at the weekend, maybe the service and food quality suffers if its really busy but everytime i've been in the week the food and service have been marvellous.Well done Brew!

5:36 PM, January 04, 2010  
Anonymous Sarah Willmer said...

I went yesterday and loved it. Great coffee, perfect scrambled eggs on good quality sourdough and really friendly staff. So there.

11:56 AM, February 08, 2010  
Blogger Ryan Kovar said...

have to say, I find to to be consistently good with some of the better coffee on Northcote road. It is a little pricey, but the service has always been decent and the food tasty.

2:41 PM, March 02, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brew was the best cafe I visited in London. Original dishes, gorgeous coffee and not some clone/ chain cafe which is what I found when i looked elsewhere. try the Black Pudding or the Corn fritters YUM!

2:34 PM, July 13, 2010  
Anonymous ami said...

brew cafe used to be awsome when the blonde aussie chick was running it... now it seems to be SHITE!
the staff dont even know what the hell they are doing!
DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY IN THIS SHOP... bad coffee, bad service.

4:59 PM, August 25, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Went to Brew for breakfast this morning. Service was good - not intrusive but waiters and maitre d' there when needed. Food punctual and good - poached eggs on toast was served with butter on the side so I could put as little / much butter on the sourdough toast as required. Eggs were well poached with lots of runny yolk and set white. Baked beans on the side were tasty and home made. The famous ham, cheese and egg melt with pesto referred to above was well balanced with not too much pesto. Also with reference to the sausages commented on above, saw someone else's order arrive and they were not sliced over (anymore) but served as they come. Coffees good - espresso a little strong (I know it's supposed to be but it can still be a bit too strong) and latte nice and creamy. Smoothies good. Drinks a little expensive, but prefer to pay extra and get good quality rather than pay less and get stuff from a carton. Definitely will visit again.

12:03 PM, September 26, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dreadfully overpriced, inattentive service and, to add insult to injury, no card paying facilities (which given the prices is a joke). Complaining about the latter I was told by the manageress that it was "retro" and that we should "agree a difference of opinion". Nope. I'm the customer so your opinion doesn't count madam manageress. Avoid like the plague.

4:14 PM, April 26, 2011  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares