Brew, Clapham Junction
45 Northcote Road
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.