Whenever someone asks me for a brunch recommendation, my first response is usually Milk in Balham, followed by the caveat that it will be extremely busy and that they might have to queue. For a while, I also pointed people towards Fields, their peaceful sister café in Clapham Common, but unfortunately they had no choice but to part ways with their landlords a while ago. Thankfully, owners Julian Porter and Lauren Johns managed to bounce back. They have opened Milk Teeth in Tooting and it seems to be flying under the radar for now – i.e. no waiting outside!
It’s a welcoming space, formerly Juliet’s Afro Superstore apparently, with pleasing minimal interior design touches (not unlike Coleman Coffee on Lower Marsh). The coffee is seriously good, coming from The Barn in Berlin and Koppi in Sweden – one flat white is never enough here. Luckily there are plenty of excuses to stick around for more than one cup. The menu is packed with brunch staples with a Milk twist – think banana bread with wattleseed butter and red banana powder, poached eggs with espresso hollandaise and Lincolnshire smoked eel, and slices of sourdough / cornbread with home-made pecan and miso “nutzilla”!
First, we demolished a seasonal smoked pumpkin omelette, loaded with Somerset goat’s curd, wild marjoram and pumpkin seed gamasio (a Japanese condiment usually made with sesame seeds). Julian expects it to be a regular on the menu soon. In between mouthfuls, we tucked in to cheese-coated “poacher hash” browns that aren’t to be missed. Then it was time to meet Sweet Maria – a decent helping of sweetcorn fritters with halloumi, avocado, drycure bacon, lime and kasundi (an Indian tomato relish). And to finish, we shared a next-level macadamia cookie topped with caramelised coffee yoghurt and dried elderflower – I’m still dreaming about it. They always have an enticing array of cakes and sweet treats on offer by their retro Marzocco machine, but this special was something else. Perhaps it should also be a permanent feature?
In a city full of copycat coffee and brunch spots, Milk Teeth is breath of fresh air, with serious food that rivals many fine restaurants and deserves attention from critics. And it’s in South West London – so hah!
Milk Teeth – www.instagram.com/milkteethcoffee
110 Mitcham Rd, Tooting Broadway, SW17 9NG