For a catch-up with a friend in Wimbledon I chose coffee hot-spot, Brew, in the heart of Wimbledon Village. The Evening Standard rates Brew as one of London’s best independent coffee shops (http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/restaurants/london-coffee-festival-londons-best-independent-coffee-shops-10218570.html), noting that promise of a glossy (Allpress) flat white should be enough to get you here. And this is coffee which you can apparently even drink under a blanket if you’re sitting outside. Indeed, the al fresco chairs adorning the streets of Wimbledon Village were lined with cosy and rather indulgent looking black furry coverings. I do love eateries that cater to the fussy temperature requirements of their diners/drinkers!
As a South London empire, Brew have branches in Clapham, Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Putney, Chiswick and soon-to-be opening Kew. Far from being a chain, though, this cosy-cool café-restaurant serves up Australian-inspired “brinner” – breakfast at morning, noon and night. Although the words “all day breakfast” might conjure up ideas of a greasy fry up, this certainly isn’t the case at Brew which serves classic breakfast dishes with a twist. Alhough Brew is owned by master butcher Jason Wells, the menu features many vegetarian option – as well as the Coco Pops (£3.50!), they also do Turkish Eggs (£8.90), a dish of poached eggs, hung yoghurt and hot chilli butter with Turkish pide which my companion rates highly. The Evening Standard even notes that you should go to Brew when hungover for a brunch of Sweetcorn Fritters.
As we arrived just after noon, I was more in the mood for a luncheon and so I ordered the Heritage Beetroot Salad (£9.50) with goat’s curd, baby spinach, caramelised walnuts and an apple dressing. Although I’m not usually a fan of cheese, the combination of beetroot and goat’s cheese is an exception that I do make and here, the goat’s curd matched the sweetness of these beautifully presented yellow and pink beetroots perfectly. Its lovely creamy texture was an ideal backdrop to the crunchy nuts and roasted beets.
My companion, meanwhile, went for the Sweetcorn Fritters (£8.90), served with avocado, tomato jam and lime aloli – a Mexican brunch classic. I enjoyed a taster bite of this and it was delicious – the accompanying sauces complemented the sweetcorn, and the tomato jam was like no other salsa/chutney I’ve ever tasted. My other companion went for her go-to Brew dish of Poached eggs served on sourdough. For her, the eggs were perfectly poached, with an oozing running yolk, and the sourdough was the ideal bread to enjoy it with.
The atmosphere inside was warm and welcoming with incredibly friendly, although sometimes slow/distant staff. Even Brew’s décor is arm-opening in vibe – think wide open fronts and large wooden tables over which groups of friends and families catch-up whilst tucking into eggs, sourdough toast, pancakes and steaming cups of tea and coffee. So if you want a brinner with an Antipodean twist, head down under to Brew.
I may have to return to one of the branches to enjoy a pizza here. The evening pizza menu features really unusual combinations, including a Mexican inspired pizza served with guacamole, a butternut squash and pesto one, a halloumi Middle Eastern style dish, a sweet grape and rosemary desert pizza…The list goes on, but most appealing for me is their Leek, Fig and Tallegio one, as well as the classic Caprese. Apparently, their Putney branch even serves them in cosy beds under heaters (with blankets, of course), overlooking the immense pizza oven and grill area – where Brew apparently screen classic movies. An evening out featuring pizza in beds – YUM. A perfect cosy winter treat.
Brew, 21 High Street, Wimbledon, SW19 5DX