Bababoom

Another relatively new addition to the ever growing list of incredible brunch spots serving up Middle-Eastern fare and gourmet kebabs is the aptly named Bababoom – it will blow your mind. How can a place that offers kebabs on pillowy soft flatbreads and Nutella French toast not? And unlimited coffee refills!? An absolute winner in my eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a brunch place that offers unlimited coffee but it’s a seriously good idea, and the perfect excuse for a long, relaxed weekend brunch.

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Located in the lovely area that is Battersea, Bababoom is a little spot just off the main road with a beautifully designed cute and colourful shop front. Personally I think they’ve absolutely nailed the interior design. From the outside, the beautifully bold colours draw you in but on the inside it’s even more pretty. It’s bright, colourful and lively inside, with stunning gold pendant lights hanging from the ceiling, an open kitchen area with cushioned bar stools and a few more tables tucked away at the back. We got a little table right in the middle and I got to sit on a comfy sofa facing out into the restaurant.

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They don’t actually serve any coffee other than filter coffee, but I’m not a huge fan of milky coffee anyway (unless it’s strong like a flat white) so that didn’t’ bother me. Plus it’s refillable, which considering how much coffee we get through over brunch is a definite bonus! They use Caravan beans, which I was sceptical about (as I actually really dislike the coffee at Caravan), but it was actually a seriously good coffee. I don’t know much about the way coffee is produced, and how beans can be roasted or ground differently to create different flavours, but I find that even places which use beans from the same source end up with wildly different coffee flavours. Anyway, this one was an absolute winner and we got through plenty of cups! What’s brunch without coffee? I also got a fresh mint tea which was served in a pretty glass teapot.. I know it’s so simple but fresh mint is one of my favourite teas – I find it so refreshing 🙂

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Neither of us are big drinkers and we’re not particularly bothered about cocktails with our brunch, but for the many people that are they have a ‘Power Hour’ which is a great deal – 60 minutes of Bloody Marys, Margaritas or Mimosas for just fifteen pounds!

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Their menu involves brunch foods (with a Middle-Eastern twist), served from 10.30 until 3 on weekends. Obviously brunch would be my meal of choice, but their lunch and dinner menu look amazing too, and we’ll definitely be planning a trip back there to try their gourmet kebabs – especially after seeing that they’re served on proper flatbreads (which is the only way to serve a kebab in my opinion!) rather than the thin wraps which are all too common for my liking! The brunch menu is small, with just three savoury and two sweet options, but I think that’s more than enough as I had a hard enough time choosing as it was!

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As well as good food (which they clearly excel at), they also have an interest in the fitness industry and are keen to attract the growing fitness crowd in and around London. They have a bring your medal and get any side for free deal on Monday, and despite initially contacting me, once I mentioned that my fiancée was actually an Olympic medallist they joked that any Olympic medallist could eat the entire menu for free!

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All of their food is served on white trays – the surprisingly light ones which you often find at smokehouses and which somehow make the food seem so much more appealing as if it’s being presented to you on a platter. And well presented it is – each element of each dish is perfectly laid out – so appealing that I could barely wait to take a pretty photo before starting to eat!

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For my first course I was torn between two dishes but in the end I went for the Ultra runner (2 soft poached eggs, harissa labneh, roasted squash tabbouleh, fattoush salad and za’atar dusted flatbread). Pretty much my ideal plate of food – a huge mix of different items served with a soft and fluffy flatbread.. and eggs of course (since I struggle to go a day without them!). I also got a side of avocado tahini and some Mastelo cheese, and the meal itself came with two delicious sauces – a salsa and some sort of yogurt. I’d never actually heard of Mastelo cheese before but it’s incredible! A salty, hard cheese, served soft and charred from the grill, it reminded me a lot of halloumi which has got to be up there with my all time favourites! The avocado tahini was a little less exciting – it didn’t have a particularly strong flavour and it had a looser texture than I would’ve expected, but it was a great dip for the rest of the food! Everything on my plate was unbelievably tasty. I couldn’t even begin to pick a favourite – it was all packed full of flavour and worked so well together.

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Marcus chose the Good Morning meat kebab (lamb merguez sausage, date glazed bacon, za’atar tomato, 2 fried eggs and harissa labneh) which he absolutely loved. His came served on a thick, fluffy flatbread that he insisted I shared, and it was amazing. Fluffy, pillowy, carby goodness. We got a side of Dukkah fries to share too and they were ridiculously good. They were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and absolutely covered in spices – fries wouldn’t normally be something that I’d order for brunch but Marcus had cleverly spotted them on Instagram and these are definitely not to be missed – I don’t think I’ve ever had fries packed full of so much flavour!

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Look at that array of spices!

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You can also get hummus as a side – one of my favourite dips! Since I wanted to try the avocado tahini for a change, and Marcus isn’t too bothered about dips, we gave it a miss this time, but having seen it come out in mountains to other tables, with strips of their delicious flatbread to dip in it, I definitely regretted skipping it and I won’t be doing it again!

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After our mains, Eve (who had invited us down) came over to chat to us. She was absolutely lovely, and recommended that we tried Baba’s eggy bread (cinnamon dipped eggy bread, Nutella and caramelised banana with clotted cream and honeycomb). Like we would ever refuse! Although lovely, I think this was surprisingly my least favourite part of the meal!

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Look at that pool of Nutella though..

{I’d like to caveat this next part of the review and say that I am not the best judge of French toast – far, far from it. Whilst I love the idea of it, I’ve almost never not been disappointed when it’s served – it always sounds so enticing on the menu and it’s usually served with delicious toppings but I often find the texture strange (I want it to be light and fluffy but with that also comes soggy and mushy due to the eggy mix) and I feel like I want the savoury flavour of the egg to come through but that’s also slightly strange in a sweet dish! I love pancakes and waffles so much more but I seem to continually insist on ordering it, even though I have yet to be delighted by an eggy bread dish despite having tried hundreds! My sweet tooth can be so annoyingly hard to please.}

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The eggy bread was made with their flatbreads, which in theory is a lovely twist, but I think I missed the light, fluffy texture of other French toast I’ve had. Though that completely contradicts what I said in the paragraph above, as every time the French toast is made with light fluffy brioche it goes soggy. There’s no pleasing me on this front apparently. Marcus doesn’t like bananas so I got extra.. and while I love caramelised banana, these were more like barbecued bananas – a little blackened and beautifully soft from the grill but with a distinct lack of sweet, caramelisation around the edges. Warm, soft and delicious, but not the sweet caramelised bananas the description had promised. The Nutella, honeycomb and clotted cream were of course winners but I think the dish as a whole could have done with a little jug of syrup to make it a little less dry. Despite those elements which I would ideally have changed, we certainly didn’t leave any.. and clearly I can be quite (okay very..) particular with sweet stuff (Marcus loved it!); I just think it’s a bit of a shame as on paper that would be up there with my top sweet brunch dishes, but for me it didn’t quite deliver.

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I definitely don’t want to end on anything but a positive note though because overall I absolutely loved this place and we’d definitely go back for lunch or dinner (or brunch again!). They even make their own marshmallows. Unlike the usual sticky, dense supermarket marshmallows that I generally avoid, these were like light, fluffy little clouds of marshmallow heaven – a deep vibrant pink and a beautifully natural raspberry flavour. I’m not sure if they sell them, but if they have them when you go then I’d definitely recommend buying some to take away!

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Eve mentioned that they were working on a new dessert with a salted caramel pourer (hello dessert heaven!!) so we’re definitely going to get a date in the diary to go back and try that once it’s launched! Besides the all important food, the service, interior and atmosphere were perfect, our mains were absolutely incredible and the eggy bread, whilst just missing a few elements for me, was still delicious. Couple great tasting food with beautiful presentation, cheap cocktails, unlimited coffee refills and you really can’t go wrong. I definitely recommend making the trip to South London for their flatbreads alone.. trust me you won’t regret it!

Link to their website: http://www.bababoom.london

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