The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond


Cafe Milan, South Kensington

Cafe Milan
23  Old Brompton Road
Tel:  020 7589 8641

Opening Times:  Breakfast is served each day until midday

Last Visited: February 2012

Over the years visiting the sights of London’s South Kensington area, I have often visited a quaint Italian cafe located near the area’s tube station.  Stumbling across it on a business trips years ago, I have always returned as their coffee was one of the first real experiences of good quality coffee from freshly ground beans.  This initial foray into the ways of a barista hooked me onto this beverage lifestyle choice and made a visit there a must every-time I pass.  

Returning for the first time in a year I was surprised to find that no longer was the tube station in the centre of a ring of traffic, which made every visit a senses overload.  ¾ of the exterior of the station had now been pedestrianised and tables from cafes that have sprung up in previously vacant premises, now dominate the expanded pavement.  These new cafes offered artisan breads, tasty pastries, crepes and even a Persian flavoured breakfast, all befitting of the sophisticated reputation of South Ken.  But would I be tempted enough to move away from an old favourite to try a new experience?

Not today!  We arrived at the cafe just after 10am and found the once packed establishment newly decorated, but sparse in attendance.  Gone was the counter previously found at the entrance.  It had now been moved to the rear of the cafe and a dedicated space where storage used to be. This move had freed up more space for more customers and the new lighter colour palette of the decor which accompanied it, made reading the menu easier than it used to be.  It seemed that the new cafes around the area had diluted the intake of people, but I hope that they had not suffered in quality because of it.

Their breakfast menu was still the same as I remember it.  One true fry-up option and multiple breakfasts all featuring scrambled eggs.  The prices were still at the low-level you would not expect to find in such a tourist driven area.  In agreement (for once) with Mrs NoEggs we both ordered the traditional breakfast.  In the past this option had served us well, the hearty portion usually delivered was affordable and kept us going to the evening and through visiting countless museums.

A very short wait after ordering my coffee arrived.  The cappuccino presented to my brought back memories of my first drink there.  To appreciate the initial burst of flavour and smooth creamy aftertaste, I declined adding sugar in order to savour the full java experience.  Through the caffeine-rich froth each glug of this intoxicating liquid nectar made me wish that I could produce something like this at home.  But then of course I would be deprived of the pleasure of visiting again.  Something’s are meant to never be replicated!

The traditional breakfast was still affordable as ever (£5.69 with toast & tea/coffee) and as big in size, but sadly did not look as aesthetically pleasing as in previous trips.  Luckily in this case, appearances can be deceptive.  The anaemic looking sausages were not as low in quality as they appeared.  Cut in half length ways, to speed up cooking I assume, they were well seasoned and above catering standard (and below butcher produce) in quality.

As for the other items; the beans were hot and had a lovely sweet sauce, the tomato and mushrooms were very well cooked and had not been stewed, as I have frequently found to happen in cafes waiting for the crowds to arrive.  Mrs NoEggs was also pleased that now they offered fried eggs as a breakfast option.  Previously, as the food was prepared behind the counter on a griddle, the only egg option was a microwaved scrambled egg which was rubbery in texture I'm told.  The presentation of toast in a basket was also a nice touch.  No chance of it getting soggy from bean juice here.

Though the area and the cafe had seen many changes since my last visit, much of what had made it so memorable had luckily remained.  The breakfast, though not made from the greatest ingredients we've seen, was still as good as I remembered and if you are a family on a budget this is still great value in a very well off area.  Pop in before visiting a museum and boost your energy reserves, you'll need them!  I just hope that when I next visit the Cafe Milan will still be there and that they fight their corner against the rising chic cafe crowd emerging.  There is always room for purveyors of great cups of Italian black gold and a good old fashioned fry-up.

Mr NoEggs