London, we need to talk. It’s time to take a long hard look at ourselves and ask, what have we done to brunch? Sweet, lovely, innocent brunch was once a pancake-fuelled upgrade to elevenses that constituted never having to confront the fact that you don’t know how to poach an egg. But then it all got out of hand. Unlimited 10am ’seccy, bang-average food hidden behind menus packed with puns, and the high risk of turning into a walking Bloody Mary with all the grace of a baked bean. That’s why we need places like Juliets to remind us what brunch is really all about.
The thing is, Juliets is making some of the best food in London. There, we said it. Oh ye of little brunch faith, get ready, because one bite of Juliets grilled pumpkin bread with cocoa nib praline and spent coffee butter and you’ll have to throw out all of your ‘brunch is silly’ stereotypes. Put them in the bin where they belong, along with your belief that you can’t wear socks with sandals. Free up that mental space to picture a world where How D’Ya Like Your Eggs In The Morning was remixed by David Bowie and, baritone voice boom-boom-booming, he sings ‘I like mine with whipped goat’s cheese and lemon salmoriglio, babe’. That’s Juliets.
On a busy stretch of high street in Tooting, it’s open from 9am daily. For all of their big, balanced flavours and incredible attention to every hand-picked detail, this place looks pretty similar to countless other cool, unassuming coffee spots in London (read as: distressed wooden floors, indie soundtrack, bearded customer guarding an electric socket armed with a caffeine addiction and a MacBook Pro). And there aren’t any neon signs telling you to Live, Laugh, And Eat Bacon, or offers on the menu declaring that your lukewarm ‘Eggstream Avo Smash’ is free if you buy a mimosa. At Juliets, the food comes first.
This place is an exposed brick blank canvas that’s yours to fill in with a coffee and a huge spicy shrimp patty bun, whilst simultaneously eyeing up the homemade chocolate, miso, and pecan ‘nutzilla’ a toddler is nibbling on at the table next to you. Or you can come with a group of friends to try the changing seasonal specials and dissect the sweet details of last-night’s date over The Best Cake in London. Seriously, their pistachio slice is basically a one-cake manifesto for every reason you should really be eating more yuzu icing. And you will be, because Juliets is a place you go to time and time again.
The only thing that we don’t like about this laid-back sanctuary of single origin coffee, natural wine, and grilled merguez, is that on most days they close at 3pm. But honestly, if anything is going to encourage us to finally sort out our weekend sleep patterns, it’s the thought of their crispy hash pork patty muffin with a couple of best mates at our side. No unlimited booze. No overpriced eggs. No funny business. Just seriously excellent food over feelgood chatter. Because really, that’s what brunch is all about.
Repeat after us: Always order the specials at Juliets. This place is really on it with seasonal produce, so their weekly, changing specials are always absolute bangers. We’re talking pheasant schnitzel sandos, smoked beef tongue pastrami, and grilled doughnut bread with bergamot crème pât and fresh Yorkshire rhubarb marmalade. Do you want to live a life of regret where you look back and wonder whether you should have tried that grilled salmon pretzel bun before it disappeared forever? No, no you do not.
The Original and the Best
This is the breakfast butty in its ultimate form. Pork patty, crispy hash, dry cure bacon, cheese, homemade tonkatsu sauce, and the softest muffin. Should come with a strong post-brunch nap warning.
Scrambled Eggs on Sourdough
We don’t know when and we don’t know how, but one day Lady Gaga will wear this as a fascinator to the Met Gala. Pumpkin seed dukkah for the win.
We need a condiment WikiLeaks because honestly, we have to know what is in this. Please, please just tell us. It’s a spicy homemade chipotle ketchup but there’s something so satisfying and mysteriously smoky about it that it will end any hangover’s reign of terror. Brilliant.
Smoked Pumpkin Omelette
We have tried to make this omelette at home and we have repeatedly failed. It’s smokey but with a big dose of WAKE UP HUN from the lemon salmoriglio. Super fresh.
Extra crispy hash browns covered in cave-aged Lincolnshire Poacher cheese. Just order them. You can thank us later.
Pistachio Cake Slice
Hand on heart, if they ever take this cake off the menu we will cry more than we did during the last ten-minutes of La La Land. And we cried a lot during the last ten minutes of La La Land. Retrospectively, too much. But still, this cake is the one. It’s light with excellent texture from the pistachio, and the refreshing yuzu icing makes it perfect for anyone that isn’t into overly rich cakes.
Marshmallow, Chocolate, and Sea Salt Cookie
Full disclosure, we have never left Juliets without ordering one of these cookies for the road. And when we say ‘for the road’ we mean, two minutes from Juliets when it starts calling to us, whispering things like ‘don’t you love me and my fluffy, salty pieces, hmm, don’t you?’. Then we eat it standing on the pavement, thinking yes, yes we do love you.