Brixton market is always a somewhat surreal experience, by virtue of how un-London the whole place is – more similar to a marketplace in Marrakech than our urban jungle. It’s also one of the few places where virtually all restaurants (bar one) are cash only. As I found out tho, it’s also the home of one of London’s must visit breakfast places.
There was a soft autumn light which poured itself inside the pub – which is strange given that it is only the beginning of spring. The Calf was eerily quiet, as many places tend to be at this time of the day, but I’ve always found that to be a perk, and it meant we could easily pick whichever part of the pub to accommodate us.
The calavera, also know as a “sugar skull”, is a now a mainstream identifier of Mexico. The calavera actually comes from Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, which is a celebration of, well, you’ve got it, the dead. It involves food, another central staple of Mexican culture, and Mole Taco Bar is a perfect ode to that celebration of death and life.
Deciding a good place to brunch is never as easy as TV series would depict, where characters seemingly wake up with divine providence of where to go. Instead, there’s more of a barrage of queries such as “will we even get a table there”, “how far is it”, and, my favorite, “will it have a nice enough bathroom if the detox juice gives me the looseys (I wanted to find a cuter word for diarrhea)?”. Alright, you got me, that last one is actually my sisters favorite question but I like to be inspired.
Getting back to the topic, it’s harder to find a brunch place when one of the questions is “will they let me take pictures of topless men in their restaurant?”
Min Jiang, self declared London’s most authentic Chinese restaurant (note how the duck was brought out by a white man so not so sure what authentic means), is certainly one to visit. It has a great combination of high quality food, impressive view over London (perhaps not as impressive as the Shard but from this side of the city it’s as much as you can get), and good service.
Frizzante is the place where I imagine Maria from The Sound of Music, after having moved to the City of London to become an investment banker, would go to have a cheeky breakfast, reminiscing the times when she was prancing and singing in the meadows, somewhere in an unspecified Austrian mountain. It’s the kind of place she would have gone back in the good old days.
Camden has always been a vibrant area full of bars and pubs attracting quite a lot of younger people (and it also has the Irish Centre where I went to see some blue collar boxing matches). With the Camden Assembly having recently renovated (according to my date), it was a good place to check out.
Looking back at the traditions of especially posh Britain, hunting used to be something that was quite important – even if it has now decreased quite considerably. The London food scene has certainly started flirting with the likes of offal (internal organs and entrails) and game, but then again what does it not flirt with? It’s quite nice to then find a restaurant that really does celebrate that sort of cuisine and it fits in well with the atmosphere.
Fluffy pancakes doused with maple syrup, scrumptious eggs on toasts, a delicious floral Earl Grey to go with them all – this is what breakfast dreams are made of. The reality is that most breakfast menus will contain the classical dishes and little more, like muffins or eggs Benedict (not that this is necessarily a bad thing). So whenever a restaurant offers something like “Truffle-infused hollandaise and asparagus” for my Benedicts, it’s an instant choice for what I will order.
For all the excitement that Clapham has become to me (especially given my previous stint in Island Gardens), I must admit that it doesn’t do amazingly in terms of diversity for food. There’s the odd Indian restaurant, quite a few Mexican/Latin American ones, and another shop for Mama Lan! But how does it compare to it’s Brixton sister?