Just when you thought South London had enough excellent brunch spots to choose from, the squad at Brick & Liquor go and open a new venue just over the road from Clapham South station, and last weekend I got invited to go and see how it measures up to the rest of SW12’s offering…
Ticking off every element on a millennial’s dream interior design list, the restaurant has exposed brick walls, copper bar utensils, filament light bulbs, rustic looking exposed pipes and dark leather industrial stools allowing customers to perch comfortably at high wooden tables. Find my Pinterest board for the bar I once dreamed of opening and you will basically find this place.
I met my pal Rosanna at the restaurant just after midday (because as per usual I was running late!) and we ordered coffees while we checked out the menu, which hosts most brunch classics including Smashed Avo & Salmon, a Full English in both carnivorous and vegetarian guises, and a home comfort favourite of mine; Kedgeree.
But it wasn’t any of those that we chose to enjoy for our brunch.
Being tempted by the mash-up of two of my favourite breakfast foods, I went for The Great British Pancake, a decadent stack of indulgent full English goodness with fried eggs, smoked bacon & sausages on top and between two of their soft & fluffy pancakes, an extremely large plate of food for just £12.
With the runny fried egg dribbling its yolk over the lightly smoked bacon, and the crisp, halved sausage which had a gentle spice, all the flavours were brought together with the sweet, fluffy pancake which sat in a soft puddle of maple syrup. With this collection of sweet and savoury flavours, with the saltiness marrying with the sugary syrup, this is a pretty glorious brunch creation. It’s large, though. The pancakes are not small, and they’re thick. I only managed to finish one, along with the bacon, eggs and sausage.
Rosanna initially had regret at ordering the obvious brunch choice of eggs benedict (£9), worrying she’d been predictable rather than adventurous, however as soon as it arrived at the table, we could both see this was no ordinary eggs benny!
Served upon home-roasted focaccia rather than the traditional English muffin, and with crunchy bacon instead of ham, the dish was beautifully presented with a velvety smooth, golden hollandaise generously dolloped atop of the perfectly poached eggs.
Of course, no brunch is complete without a tipple of something a bit stronger than caffeine.
This place has a very tempting selection of alcoholic concoctions, with classic twists on some of Londons favourite cocktails, including a delicious sounding ‘Salted Caramel Espresso Martini’ which certainly had our eyebrows raised, but it was the “Three Hail Marys” – the Brick & Liquor take on a Bloody Mary – made with home roasted beef tomato, sundried tomato & vine tomatoes, vodka, sea salt, harissa & black pepper, that we chose to wash our food down with.
The addition of sundried tomato gave the drink an edge of rich sweetness which soon melted away into a gentle spice that hit the back of the throat. It was refreshing and thirst quenching, and with the beginnings of a cold lurking I could feel it doing some good to my system. Vodka is always a good medicine.
Though London is rapidly becoming saturated with trendy spots for brunch, Brick & Liquor have proven they are worthy of their place, with their clever twists on classics helping them stand out from the crowd. There is elegance in what the kitchen serves, and flare in what the bar team creates. Prices are pretty standard in terms of London, but the portions are plentiful and satisfying, so if you’re struggling for ideas on where to get your egg fix this weekend, give Brick & Liquor a go.