As regular Sharking followers will know, we are always on the lookout for an interesting take on brunch. After years trawling Melbourne’s greatest offerings – where chefs are constantly looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the ubiquitous avocado-on-toast offer – you can’t blame us. But, on the whole, the London café/coffe shop scene fails to deliver the goods.
Our favourites are few and far between: Pedlar in Peckham, Berber and Q in Haggerston, Salon in Brixton, Shotgun in Carnaby Street and The Good Egg in Stoke Newington. There’s nothing run-of-the-mill at these places.
But times they are a-changing, and in the past few weeks I’ve been impressed by the Middle Eastern flavours being served up by a little place called Bababoom, which recently popped up in Battersea.
Walking in, I’m welcomed by Eva – one of the three partners – and immediately notice how spacious this place is: golden lampshades dangle from the ceiling and a large window calls on you to grab a perch and watch the world go by while eyeing up the menu.
As I sip the first of many Caravan filter coffees (the team offer unlimited refills – the only other place I know that offers this is Shotgun) I discover that ex-ultra-marathon-runner Eva got into hospitality several years ago and, having recently returned from living and working in South Africa, found a chef (the lucky guy has just become a father again in the past few weeks – right on time for a busy new opening) and Bababoom was born.
Brunch on the weekends goes from 10.30am to 3pm and it’s the perfect way to sample their wares if you’re not sure if you’re up for this Brit-meets-Middle East kind of thing. And, should you be dining solo, you’ll find a nice little selection of magazines to read while you drink as much coffee as your weekend can handle.
For me, the main event was the Good Morning Meat Flatbread. After seeing this arrive on the table next to me it was really a no-brainer. Lamb merguez sausage, date-glazed bacon, za’atar tomato, (usually) two fried eggs and harissa labneh all perched on a warm fluffy flatbread. I did my usual and substituted the eggs for MORE DATE-GLAZED BACON, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I know, I love brunch but I can’t do eggs. Just can’t.
Everything on this plate was pitch-perfect. The spiciness of the sausage played well with the chilli of the labneh. Add the two house-made sauces to the mix and I’m basically having one of the best brunch trips of my life. Another filter coffee and it was time to decide how to finish off the meal.
I was put onto Jono’s (one of the chefs) favourite – the orange and almond loaf. Straight out the oven it was toasty warm and fresh as a daisy – I wish I could have lingered over it for longer but I had a game of rugby to get to. Delicious nonetheless.
I’m keen to get back and try the dinner menu but I also hear that TimeOut will be reviewing them this week so, once word officially gets out, it will be trickier to bag yourself a space. They take bookings for parties of eight or more, otherwise it’s a put-your-name-down kinda job – but luckily there’s a Brewdog bar just up the road so go make yourself useful while you wait.
A few other things caught my eye – they have a lunch deal worth thinking about and, if you want to be the hero of the office, they have just released a very good-looking Christmas menu that will be served till the end of the year. Either way – I will be dragging back friends and family to sample Bababoom’s wares. Christmas has come early!
Contact: BaBaBoom – 30 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1EE. http://www.bababoom.london/home/