Living 11,390 miles (18,331 km) from home, there are a couple of things that keep me from losing my little Kiwi mind. One is the availability of delicious flat whites and Kiwi treats in London. (The other is Mr Kiwi, who you can’t have – you’ll need to find your own English lad, sorry.)
The antipodean coffee scene seems to have sprung up over the last few years, and judging by the crowd of coffee machine wielding baristas with Kiwi twangs at the London coffee festival, we are taking over. At a coffee tasting class the other week (a “cupping” class), I was even told by our Italian teacher that ‘the Kiwis and Aussies are doing wonderful things and research into milk in coffee.’ Awesome!
Each of our usual antipodean haunts has signature Kiwi dish that keeps drawing the expats in; Sacred – coffee & lolly cake, Caravan – sweetcorn fritters, Kopapa – Date scones & Spirulina, The Modern Pantry – insane ricotta pancakes (ok, I don’t think they’re Kiwi, but they are scrummy), Ozone have scrummy (though seemingly decreasing in size) Eggs Benedict served on hash cakes, and Long White Cloud with their Kiwi goodies. You don’t have to be a Kiwi to enter any of these establishments, or any of the up-and-comers but it tastes better when you take one. Me, namely.
Onto the delectable Grind. Found just south of Putney Bridge, Grind is a cheeky brunch hot spot full of locals and a delicious selection of baked brunch goods. A few of the Kiwi gang and I visited a few months ago, but scheduling the write-up just seems to have been left behind for no decent reason.
See those delicious looking almond croissants and pastries using their French charm to lure themselves onto your plate? Forget them.
Bacon and egg pie. Bacon and egg pie!
There was no question about what I ordered.
Whilst I tucked into my bacon & egg pie, discussion raged over the use of peas and tomatoes in them (my family is pro-tomato, anti-pea) and whether to crack eggs in whole or pre-mix them (we are pro-whole eggs, else it’s practically a Frittata).
As the discussion raged, my Kiwi table mates tested the rest of the menu,
hungry professional brunchers that we are. The bacon pancakes with berry compote and cream fraiche stacked up well, and were demolished (admittedly with my help), and the Eggs benedict were of good standard (though my pet peeve of them arriving on toast was in force).
Their coffees were good, smooth and full in taste and texture, though our caffeinated orders were a touch slow in coming, due to staff having to deal with a full café and a broken card machine. When chased, the staff were effusive in their apologies, and chivvied the cups up – though it meant that they were a touch cold. We also ordered one of the fantastically named smoothies which sadly was lost in the card machine chaos.
We still really enjoyed the brunch though, a great varied menu, funky décor, beautiful skylight/courtyard and nice service. A word of warning though if you’re thinking of popping down to Grind in Putney – such is the popularity it gets BUSY so go early. You’ll thank me for it.
The people watching on the Thames is an optional morning extra whilst brunch is digesting, but a highly recommended one…
What is your favourite brunch meal? Do you Eggs benedict or go off-piste?