We're in Balham serving specialty coffee roasted by the guys at Workshop Coffee Co. & fresh seasonal menus. Love M1LK x

Posts tagged “food

PLAY WITH YOUR GODDAMN FOOD -M1LK

Posted on October 18, 2013

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Life is more fun if you play games
Roald Dahl

When I was a little girl I remember very clearly (egged on by my bushy headed cousin) emptying the entire contents of my mums kitchen cupboard in order to make my very own very delicious marvelous medicine. And though the petit filous, salmon and ketchup extravangza I created was not one of joy, I like to think it is this childish sense of playfulness that drives the creativity in our own culinary creations as adults.
When developing the latest menu in chats with our head chef Stuart, play was a major theme. As each week progressed we went from crashing cars to building tracks and our childish games developed into fully-fledged tastiness. One of our favorite experimentations was our well beloved Convict. And to give you an idea one of our customers describes it as "gods answer to the egg mc muffin". Each week the convict would grow more and more epic with a ‘hash brown’ or a layer of Moen’s and Sons sausage pattie being added. Playful does not however mean simple with some of the best stories I’ve ever read being in the most childish of books. We wanted to set a standard that reflected the level of involvement and creativity to breakfast that we admire in many of the Melbourne greats and though at times our game would run dry with the Jenga blocks falling down around us we would start from scratch and build again with our hangover sauce taking around 18 different evolutions. With Stuarts dogged determination the menu was coming along nicely.

Bruce 'Little Brucey: Well it's hard for me to remember a specific cake.
Agatha Trunchbull: This one was mine. And it was the most scrumptious cake in the entire world.

At night I would bake and with the amazing creations on the main menu preying on my mind many of those nights were very late ones. As a child I could consume more cake than any other and so the copious amounts of cake mix, icing and sponge to test and taste were by no means an obstacle. A friend of mine once went to the famous Parisian based physical theatre school Le Coq, where they would work on clown pieces for weeks on end only to be cut down seconds later by their teacher with the dreaded and weekly occurring words ‘that’s not it!’ I can safely say I felt a similar feeling of devastation as Julian turned his nose up at the fifth attempt of my most treasured game the ‘Strawberry M1LK Cake’. With my mum working full-time when I was young, baking was a very rare and special occurrence and the memory of the strawberry smell that came wafting from the oven when baking those muffins still fills me with joy. This cake would be pinkest most strawberriest cake that had ever lived. Once the sponge was deemed ready and the icing tasted like strawberry milkshake we added a topping of party rings and satisfied, I felt sure the 8 year-old Veruca Salt in me would have been sufficiently impressed.

Veruca Salt: I want a party with roomfuls of laughter, Ten thousand tons of ice cream, And if I don't get the things I am after, I'm going to screeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEAM.

As we signed off each dish, with a dollop of burnt butter hollandiase on our Young Betty and old favorite sweetcorn fritters now amended and aptly named Sweet Maria it was a joy to see it come together. We had hoped to bring a new level of prettiness, symmetry and colour to our plates using freshly foraged flowers from Jan alongside bright orange Burford brown eggs to create dishes both playful to the eye and delicious to the taste. From the early ideas of epic mc muffins and strawberriest of strawberry cakes it was fun to be a child again even if it meant staying up way after bedtime. Upon the launch of the new menu, at the staff tasting we eat like kids at a mad hatters tea party. The determined passion from our kitchen team and the love and tenacity from our front of house for coffee, food and people never fails to inspire me. A good game is always played by many.

I've heard tell that what you imagine sometimes comes true.
 -Grandpa Joe

Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Pop Art N’ Ting

Posted on May 16, 2013

Recently went to the fantastic Mitch Griffiths exhibition Iconostasis that I was V. proud to be apart of as one the sitters. Fame was part of the concept and we as the sitters get our 5 mins in the spotlight and in some ways become immortalised. In a world where everyone wants their 5 I considered that in some ways the food industry is just as rife with it as the acting world that I occaisionly frequent. In many ways the lead up to the Urami Pop-Up felt like the opening night of a play, the buzz of customers arriving rang bells in my ears not dissimiliar to the sound of the sharp witted reveiwers chatter I had heard as they took their seats…

Urami Posters

Posted on May 6, 2013

In order to explain the inspiration for the Urami pop-up posters I have to start at the very very beginning…… The Japanese creation myth, is such a beautiful and tragic story of high drama that it makes Adam and Eve look a bit boring in comparison really. This story of love, hatred, betrayal and ultimately the inevitabality of our own mortality is haunting.     Let me introduce you to Izanagi-no-Mikoto (male) and Izanami-no-Mikoto (female) (as Wiki put’s it) both were called by all the myriad gods and asked to help each other to create a new land which was to become Japan. Together out of salty water droplets they create the glorious islands of Japan, forever cementing the spiritual connection between the Japanese people and their land.…

Urami Video:

Posted on May 2, 2013

Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.

Someone clever once said and who am I to argue.

With the night closing in and the communal filth drawing ever closer.

Jules and I decided it was time for a tasting….

I designed some posters exclusively for the pop up (blog to follow) and once they were in place it was time to get stuck in.

As the demon cook Damien sharpened his knives.

And unearthed a whole manner of devilish fermented joys.

The sparky genius that is Julia (Wine Tasting Shop) uncorked another fantastic wine from Some Young Punks ordered in especially for our Pop Up.

I have to say as each wine was brought out I literally said to Julian “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me”

With the fried rose petal turning a mesmerising translucent golden pink it was time to taste.

Now I won’t give too much away but I what I will say is that given the choice I would swap heaven for the communal filth of the Urami underworld any day.

And with tickets now sold out diners are sealed to an incredibly visceral and delectable fate.

Enjoy…..

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT IN THE EVENT OF RETURNS WE WILL ADD FURTHER TICKETS TO THE EVENTBRITE. 
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO NOTIFIED OF THIS OR FUTURE EVENTS PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTACT E-MAIL TO lauren@m1lk.co.uk AND YOU WILL BE ADDED TO OUR FUTURE EVENTS MAILING LIST.

‘URAMI’ or ‘A LAST SUPPER’

Posted on April 14, 2013

THEY THAT PLOW INIQUITY AND SOW WICKEDNESS, REAP THE SAME.


M1LK IN COLLABORATION WITH CHEF DAMIAN WAWRZYNIAK
 PRESENT:


'URAMI' OR 'A LAST SUPPER'
 URMAI Pop Up Poster lo res
FERMENTATION, DECAY AND DEATH
 AN EVENING MEAL INSPIRED BY THE SHINTO CREATION STORIES AND UNDERWORLD


VERY LIMITED TICKETS WILL GO ON SALE SUNDAY 14TH APRIL

 http://m1lk.eventbrite.co.uk/

Good Coffee

Posted on April 10, 2013

We hold open cuppings at the cafe once a month with the aim to select guest coffees for the upcoming month. This month we are focusing on direct trade coffees from some new specialty roasters in Europe.

Local woman picking cherries to be delivered to the Konga Farmers Cooperative in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

 

I have always loved coffee. From an overly confident 4 year old stealing gulps of customer’s latte’s in my mother’s cafe to the first time the concept of single estate coffees went off like a landmine in my awkward adolescent mind. However, as a young barista, I could never draw the link between the vague idea that coffee was grown as a crop (by faceless co-ops or unidentifiable farmers in far away tropical countries) and the impenetrable supply chain that lead to the beautiful dark fluid that came to be my morning ritual, livelihood and passion.

 

This week we will be cupping coffees from various European specialty roasters sourced through direct trade organizations such the guys at Collaborative http://collaborativecoffeesource.com/ that have made the murky supply chains of commodity coffee (at least in my eyes) obsolete. The cherries being picked in this video by a local woman have been roasted by Drop Coffee in Sweden and were brewed by us last week.

 

We will be posting details of our next cupping soon. Cuppings are generally held around 7pm and you can book through emailing Dan at balham@m1lk.co.uk or by asking instore.