BROOKS AND GAO, STREATHAM

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Brooks and Gao is a glowing beacon of promise on what I hope is a bright future for Streatham.

Creatures of habit it’s been hard to get out of the Boyce da Roca brunch routine but I’m happy we made an exception this Saturday.

Both of us have been getting up so early we couldn’t lie in past the crackers of dawn so waiting until 10 for a certain café to open was too hard.

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Easily overlooked, Brooks and Gao is a sophisticated little outfit, all wood and exposed brick. In summer tables spill out onto the street but today we ducked inside.

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The counter display is a tempting assortment of cakes and generously-stuffed sandwiches. Courgette and pistachio loaf, chocolate and beetroot or cinnamon buns clamour for attention but as of recently they added some more hearty options to the menu. They now offer brunch and a trio of specials displayed on the most innovative specials board I’ve seen.

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Coffee is served with signature spoons and charming mini milk bottles. Oh, and it’s serious coffee…

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I plumped for Greek yogurt pomegranate, pistachio and wild flower honey which was an absolute picture. The flecks of honey were cloying and sweet but nicely balanced by a glut of pomegranate and the supremely thick yogurt. Pistachios always feel like a treat so I could convince myself the £4 odd price tag was justified.

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In contrast, the broken eggs with grilled potatoes, smoked speck ham and pimenton wasn’t going to win any beauty awards but I’m assured delivered on flavour. At £8.50 though, I’m not sure it merited steep the mark up.

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The sandwiches are also pretty pricey but the ingredients suggest they’re worth it and the reality is they’ve not got much competition for the moment.

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One thing definitely worth a go is the banana bread. It was delicious toasted with proper butter oozing through the middle and a crunch sugar crown.

All I can hope is that Brooks and Gao is one of many more to come.

 

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