03 August 2022

The Caffeine Chronicles: Brunswick East

Since I put together my London brunch guide a few months ago, I've been drawn more than ever to speciality coffee spots that do a mean brunch. The perfect example of this is Brunswick East in Dalston, which serves creative, Australian-inspired brunch dishes alongside its coffee offering. I enjoyed my first visit, a few weeks ago, so much that I went back for more last weekend!

Brunswick East has been around since 2015 and there's also now a second location (Brunswick East Bakehouse) in Hackney Downs. The original is just a few moments from Dalston Kingsland station, tucked away in Stamford Works, just off Gillett Square. There's a large courtyard seating area, which you need to walk through to get to the main entrance. If it's a sunny day, come early if you want to secure an outdoor table (or you can book).

I ended up sitting inside both times: the shape of the building divides the space into several semi-separated seating areas. My friend and I sat near the back so that we could have a good natter, but when I returned, I was happy to perch at one of the tables opposite the counter near the entrance. The décor has a cosy, rustic feel: a wooden coffee bar, sage green accents and colourful artwork on the walls.

The regularly changing menu is available via a QR code. On the coffee front, there are espresso-based drinks and two filter coffees, the house and the guest. The first time I visited I had a piccolo, brewed with an Origin espresso. It tasted great but in my excitement to see my friend for the first time in a while, I managed not to take any photos (bad blogger). On my return, I went for the guest filter coffee, which was the Colombian Carmen Coca from Extract Coffee Roasters. Batch-brew filter coffee can be disappointing, but this coffee tasted great, with the sweet, orangey flavours coming through nicely.

As for the brunch, it was really hard to choose what to order as there were so many delicious-sounding dishes. Brunswick East has a strong commitment to sustainability, working with small-scale UK farmers, using local produce and even growing some produce on their rooftop Sky Farm. I ordered the green eggs and ham on my first visit — maple-glazed ham hock, fried eggs, basil pesto and sourdough. This was delicious and also passed the 'pretty savoury brunch dish' test.

I also liked the look of my friend's okonomiyaki, but when I came back I had to order the weekend special: potato pavé (a crispy, compressed dauphinoise) with smashed peas, mint, ricotta, pickled kholrabi and a poached egg. They had me at 'potato pavé' but the whole dish tasted fantastic, the flavours combining perfectly. And once again, the presentation was beautiful.

Sitting opposite the counter meant I could eye up the Dusty Knuckle pastries but alas, I was too full for dessert. Not in the mood for coffee? (Why not?) They have a large selection of teas, juices, cocktails and other boozier beverages. 

Brunswick East. Unit 3D Stamford Works, Gillett Street, London N16 8JH (Dalston Kingsland Overground). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

For 140+ more of my favourite coffee shops in London, you can also check out my London speciality coffee guide.

No comments:

Post a Comment