The Milk Bar, Soho
3 Bateman St
020 7287 4796
by Blake Pudding
The Antipodean take over of London continues apace. Now normally this would be an excuse for some ill-informed remarks about their aggressive informality, their funny accents or our recent victory in the cricket. Not this time however because the Milk Bar is run by New Zealanders who couldn’t care less about a little urn and when the coffee is this good I don’t care how inappropriately friendly they are. “Aw look mate, do you mind if I have sex with your girlfriend?” “Not at all, my good fellow, just bring me another one of these delicious flat white things first.”
I was with Natasha Solomons, recently returned from America. She was itching to tell me about her novel but I was more interested in finding out about the cured fish scene in New York. As she told me about the lox in Russ & Daughters on Houston, I actually started drooling. It was time to order some food.
The Milk Bar has a very short menu which is mainly variations on scrambled eggs. Luckily I love scrambled eggs. We could have had ours with bacon, mushrooms or smoked salmon but I wanted to preserve the purity of their ethical eggs so I went for the classic “on toast” option. Greedily I watched the trendy young thing behind the counter prepare them in a battered saucepan – no microwave trickery here. They were perfect, or nearly perfect. Perhaps they were slightly over-cooked but I am prepared to admit that I like mine very runny. I lightly seasoned them with lots of Tabasco and hoovered them up in about a minute. I belched elegantly, sat back and said “now tell me about this novel of yours Natasha,” though I would have preferred to hear more about the Gravadlax.