Fields is the new cafe venture of the owners of Balham brunch joint M1LK which I reviewed earlier in the year. Read here.
First impressions on a miserable rainy Saturday is of a white concrete block, plonked on the side of a skate park on Clapham Common. We sat in the car debating wether or not we go in, I am so glad we did.
The interior is pretty stark and it is quite cold inside but waitress picks up on this and moves us to the corner with the radiator. The paired down, minimal Scandi decor is soothing and fuss free. This space is SO cute and (yes) hipster but less obviously so than other trendy brunch joints in town. Fields is less kitch and cluttered than it’s sister cafe M1LK; no loud posters, or mismatched chairs which always feels contrived to me.
The pink colour on the wall is warming and calming and ties into the thoughtful placement of the pink rock salt shakers on each table.
The menus are typewriter/lowercase style presented on clip boards. The daily specials are showcased on a strip of rolling paper attached to the fire exit door. Convenient, fuss free. The distraction free interior means they are bravely leaving the food to do the talking.
The menu is small but covers most tastes. We are recommended the Kaserkrainer bun (a Slovenian pork sausage in a white roll), rice wine pickles with mustard mayo and chive flowers which Rich opts for. I’ve heard good things about the hollandaise so I choose the Poached eggs, on Brixton sourdough and Cult of Done Hollandaise with dry cure bacon with a side of avo and confit toms on the vine. You order and pay at the till.
When the food arrives it looks impressive, tasty, beautiful even. All the plates have a real rustic prairie-style charm. Rich’s flowery hot dog dish is served in a small and impractical metal bowl that spins on the table as he attempts to eat it. I tried a mouthful and it was delicious. The subtle sweet’n’sourness of the pickles with the chive flowers gives the dish a floral taste. The plain, soft white roll and caramelised onions make me smack my lips together with delight. The meaty pork sausage gives the dish the backbone it needs.
Field’s take on Eggs Benedict was pure indulgence. Chef Adam tells me the Cult of Done Holldanise sauce is a southern take on the traditional hollandasie with burnt butter and coffee, which really compliments the crispy streaky bacon and toasted sourdough. The egg are medium/soft. I normally prefer my poached eggs on the runny side but serving then semi-hard makes total sense as the dish itself is very saucy. There is most likely a shovel of butter in this hollandaise, boy is it rich! I would definitely recommend having a side of creamy smashed avocado to mellow out this big-flavoured dish. My side of confit vine tomatoes were full of juicy sweetness and charred nicely.
There is a spacious decking outside and by the time we left the tables were full with merry brunchers wrapped up in coats sipping their coffees. With it’s central Clapham Common location I anticipate that this place will be overwhelmed with customers by summer 2015.
I don’t expect a 5 star silver service but the lack of urgency and nonchalance at these cool cafes sorta rubs me up the wrong way. Maybe it’s just me that needs to chill out?
I would definitely return to Fields for brunch and I cannot wait for summer so a large group of friends and I can monopolise a big table on the outside decking. I also hope to see the specials board develop more as M1LK’s specials are always so tasty. 4/5.
2 Rookery Road, Clapham Common, London, SW4 9DD
Tube: Clapham Common
Have you been to Fields or it’s sister restaurant M1LK? If so let me know what your experience was like.
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