4 October 2016

The Social Pantry, Battersea

It's no secret that I love brunch. It's my favourite meal. As Leslie Knope says, Why would anyone want to eat anything other than breakfast food? And I echo that sentiment.

Voted the best cafe in Battersea, I had high expectations for The Social Pantry. If you didn't know where it was (or hadn't Citymapper-ed it, natch) you'd be in danger of walking straight past . It has an unassuming exterior and surprisingly narrow shop front. Some might even call it quaint.

The cafe interior is purposefully rustic (isn't everywhere?), with exposed brickwork, wooden tables, metal chairs and contrast white tiles. There's also modern art adorning the walls, not to mention some extremely tempting looking treats at the front of the shop...

As per, I'd checked out the menu beforehand (does anyone else plan what they're going to have before they visit somewhere? I can't be the only one), so they handed me the menu in vain... I opted for the Baked Mushrooms with Spinach in a Parsley and Mascarpone Sauce, topped with two Poached Eggs, on sourdough toast (note: you can opt for gluten-free and granary bread if you wish), and my friend went for the Social Pantry Full English.

As for drinks, I chose a caramel soy cappuccino, and she a standard cappuccino.

But this is where things went a bit wrong.

Firstly, it was relayed to me by my friend, who went up to the counter to order, that the cafe was out of eggs. On a Sunday. A brunch establishment was




Surely not? I would have thought there was no egg-scuse, considering its prestigious title. But it was true. Once I'd gotten over the shock (and the disappointment) I requested to have my dish with bacon instead.

I mean, our food looked beautiful.

Unfortunately, as the staff were one down, they favoured the walk-ins who wanted takeaway coffee rather than people in the restaurant. Which meant I got my coffee (goodness, I was gagging for a coffee) after my food arrived.

Our egg substitutes (bacon and avocado) just didn't cut the mustard. The parsley and mascarpone sauce, mixed with the mushrooms, was delicious, but there wasn't enough of it to make up for missing yolks and hollandaise - the toast was too dry.

The portions, however, were pretty substantial, and very good value for money.

After chasing for more caffeine, we tried some sweet options. They'd run out of pastries, but I was happy enough with a white chocolate and raspberry muffin (sooo good) with a hefty slice of carrot cake for my friend.

If  you bring a larger party, you can sit around a bigger table at the back of the cafe. It looked super cosy.

Overall the atmosphere was really great in here. We prolonged our visit for the sake of a good ol' chinwag, but even though we could have chosen to leave if we'd wanted to, we didn't. The gutting moment - other than egg-gate - was after we'd finished our meals and I saw someone come in with about 50 eggs and people next to us had the meal that I *should* have had. Sigh.

Eggs and service aside, the food was delicious, and the coffee more-ish. I'd be tempted to visit again, but only if those eggs are piled up high.

Find The Social Pantry at 170A Lavender Hill, SW11 5TG.

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