At Townfish, we love supporting local, independent businesses, so there was no hesitation when we were invited down for a business meeting at Brother Marcus in Balham. Alex Large, Arthur Campbell and Tasos Gaitanos, three school friends gathered together to open up this informal Garden Café.
Alex has a great love for all things coffee, cocktails and food related (as well as his brother Marcus). His experience from working at Caravan coffee has meant he has implemented his expert barista skills to making the perfect cups of coffee at their venue in Balham. Arthur is in charge of the project management side and the front of house , whilst Tasos being the son of a restaurateur has a strong influence on both sides of the kitchen. The amazing story is they had only 3 days to turn around a greasy spoon to their own cafe with a miniscule budget. They built they own distressed wooden tables, restrung the lighting and even built their website and came up with the menus. It is a project that wouldn’t have looked out-of-place for winning the Apprentice.
The brunch menu is incredibly popular with the locals such as the Brother Special with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, tender-stem broccoli with honey and sesame glaze on toast.
We went along in the evening and tried their extremely filling loaded buns. Whilst there are only 4 options, they are very appetising options. We tried The Salty Wench and Notorious P.I.G; probably the most popular ones from their menu. The salt beef is richly flavoured from 14 hours of braising and thankfully it wasn’t overly salty to the point, you needed to purchase countless cocktails to quench your thirst.
There is a clear thought process on what flavours to add in as well as what vegetables would add some crunch to the texture. The pulled pork bun has enough flavours on its own but it is matched with a dirty Mexican sauce, lime yoghurt as well as crunchy apple and crispy corn.
After their loaded buns, there was simply no room to savour their inviting looking desserts; but if you are peckish, they do have some stunning looking cakes such as their homemade chocolate puddings.
If you fancy just popping by for a quick drink to catch up with friends, they do have a small yet fine selection of cocktails like Miss Robinson, which is lavender-infused gin with Prosecco and lemon or The Glover, which is ginger-infused tequila, Grapefruit and lime.