The extensive makeover has seen the café double in size, with Julian and Lauren (who also own Fields all-day café on Clapham Common) acquiring the shop space next door and knocking through the adjoining shop wall. The new larger space should help reduce the lengthy queue which has become common place outside Milk on a weekend, which allows the café to now cater for up to 45 guests inside, and a further 35 outside on the terrace during warmer months. Table service is also now available throughout.
The café (formally known as M1lk) continues to serve its all-day breakfast/brunch menu, with dishes including Milk favourites ‘The Convict – English muffin, drycure bacon, M. Moens & Sons sausage, burford brown egg, poacher hash & hangover sauce’ (£7.90) and the ‘Sweet Maria – ‘Sweetcorn fritters, grilled halloumi, avocado, kasundi & lime’ (£7.80). Further dishes such as ‘Housemade crumpets with hay-smoked goats curd, Wandsworth Honey & wild rosemary’ (£7.90), ‘Buckwheat pancakes, with smoked apricot, housemade elderflower syrup, burnt apricot marshmallow & macadamia’ (£7.80) and ‘Baked Eggs two ways eggs with butternut squash, feta & crispy sage’ (£7.80), are also common place on the menu.
As well as its food, Milk takes great pride in its specialty coffee, using beans from Berlin’s The Barn coffee roasters and Koppi single origin filter coffee brewed on FETCO machines. A selection of cold pressed juices, soft drinks and house smoothies are also on offer, including the ‘Lois’ – made with fresh blackberries, pear & lavender (£3.50), as well as a concise list of local craft beers and natural wines for those seeking something stronger. Milk also serves a choice of cakes and biscuits made daily at the café in the onsite bakery.
Designed personally by Julian and Lauren, the interiors at Milk have also been refreshed. With a focus on simplicity, quality and sustainability; exposed original brick work is now offset with plastic pink tiled table tops, hand-crafted British wooden furniture and a striking original kitsch green and pink 1950s bathroom suite. The outside terrace overlooks the bustling Hildreth Street Market in Balham and catches the sun until late into the evening.
Milk Lates – launching this September
This September, Julian and Lauren will introduce ‘Milk Lates’ dinner series. The pair will transform the newly expanded daytime café space at Milk into an edgy 45-cover evening restaurant, offering a weekly changing dinner menu showcasing the creative flavour and ingredient combinations for which Milk has become known. The Milk Lates menu will be served from 6pm, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, with the existing all-day breakfast/brunch menu, which established Milk as a cult favourite amongst South West London locals, still served daily from 8am through to 4pm.
The new Milk Lates menu, created by Julian alongside new head chef William Blackmore (previously The Providores & Roka), will comprise a varied and eclectic mix of starters, mains and sharing plates. Julian and Lauren are passionate about supporting local and emerging producers and suppliers and thus the Milk Lates menu will embrace this, using ingredients sourced from a small group of independent British farmers and producers. The first Milk Lates menu is yet to be confirmed, however diners can expect dishes such as ‘Fried chicken skin, hot sauce & smoked honey’, ‘Beetroot, hay smoked goat’s curd, hazelnuts & wild blackberry’ and ‘Crystal fried whole pigeon with wild blackcurrant salt’.
Julian and Lauren have worked with ex-Viajante head sommelier Christophe Richelet to curate a list of bold and modern natural wines that will complement the creative menu, all chosen because of their careful biodynamic farming practices. Beer from Kernel Brewery in Bermondsey will also be available alongside Heron Valley Cider (both £4).