What: MILK BEACH
In a nutshell: Top coffee and brunch by day, natural wine bar and small plates by night
Summing it all up: The Queen's Park cafe game just got a whole load more interesting with the arrival of MILK BEACH on Lonsdale Road. They're promising the absolute best coffee, banging brunches and the natural wine bar and small plates offering by night sounds great too.
Just to show East London doesn't get ALL the good stuff comes news about a very interesting opening in Queen's Park. We were alerted to the arrival of MILK BEACH on Lonsdale Road by the CODE newsletter this morning. Right now it's open and serving up coffee and brunch. But from Thursday it'll extend its hours to the evening and launch a natural wine bar, serving up a series of small plates.
Owner and former oil executive, Elliot Milne used to work in Ethiopia with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. That's where he helped set up the Coffee Initiative Project working with coffee farmers on securing better finance, investment and growth. And he's now buying coffee from those same farmers for the place in London. More importantly, he's secured the services of award-winning coffee roaster Matthew Robley-Siemonsma (previously of Prufrock Coffee and TAP Coffee) to do that. "You talk to Matthew about coffee and you get a chemistry lesson!" says Milne. That coffee is roasted only in small batches on a weekly basis and if you like what you try you can buy bags in the cafe to take home with you.
As Milne explains to Hot Dinners, he always wanted to do something in coffee that was as good as back in Sydney [where he hails from]. Having moved to Queen's Park where he quickly noticed a dearth of good cafes he decided to open his own place. He chose Lonsdale Road because "it's a really cool street".
For the food they've brought in Head Chef Chris Munnings, who we last encountered running the show at Duck and Waffle Local. Munnings has put together a gorgeous sounding brunch menu - apparently his Poached Burford Browns eggs benedict with ham hock and spinach on sourdough is already a bestseller. And we like the sound of Granny Elly’s banana bread with espresso cream cheese on the side too. He's also come up with some larger dishes for lunch like the Green bowl – broccoli, kale, avocado, quinoa and cashews with miso verde dressing and a poached egg and the Poke bowl – tuna tamari, brown rice, pineapple chilli salsa, wakame seaweed, avocado, crispy shallots, spring onion and sesame seeds.
From this Thursday though, things go up a gear with the wine bar opening. And they've brought in the services of P Franco's soon-to-be-departing Head Chef George Tomlin as consultant for the menus, coming up with a range of small dishes to work with a wine list that's mainly organic and natural. "We're trying to push dishes a little further - do things a bit differently," says Elliot. So expect things like Frigatelli peppers, pine nuts & tamarind or maybe Shaoxing poached bass, ginger and coriander - see the full launch menu below.
More about MILK BEACH
Where is it? 19 Lonsdale Road, Queen's Park, London NW6 6RA
When does it open? The cafe is open now. The wine bar opens 13 September 2018
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