McLaren's Cafe Bar & Grill, Brockley Rise

BC review to follow, please post your comments and reviews here.

22 comments:

barryls said...

Despite the rather unforgiving location, the food is actually really yummy.

Breakfasts are good, and it's usually pretty busy.

MadameGeneva said...

Unforgiving location? But it's close by to lots of other good places: the really excellent La Querce Italian, the Carribean organic food shop, FS2 fresh Turkish kebabs to name some. I suspect you are a North Brockley-ite but for us South Brockley-ites the location is perfect...and I can add really good banana milkshakes to the McClarens recommendations

mljay said...

I go there all the time! Nice and easy place to while away time. Food is good - sort of a healthier breakfast brunch menu. Owners are nice and friendly too.

Might not have the "best views" but still a nice corner position.

Viva South Brockley!!! (also known as Honor Oak Park!)

Amanda said...

This is the place I go to the most around here for breakfast. It's changed management and name in the time I've been going. The food did dip a level. For example, before if you ordered a hot chocolate you it came with aerosol cream swirl and dusted in cocoa and a little wrapped almond biscuit.

The quality and presentation of the breakfast whilst not as good before is still better than Toad's Mouth 2. The brown bread, tastes like entry level supermarket stuff but the toast is still cut into triangles (very important that!), the scrambled egg is consistently good, creamy as I like it.

But what really swings this place for me isn't the food but the ambience, sunday morning breakfast is relaxed. Most of the people, (couples, mid 20's to 40's) are just reading their newspapers bought from the newsagent across the road, there tends not be kids about. So it's kind of quiet but nice. It quite spacious too, a seat by the window is good for 172 bus and people watching.

spincat said...

I've probably seen some of you there then (the scrambled egg is one of my favourites too) - I go quite a lot as it is very near me and the breakfast is good. I like the tables outside early on a sunny day when the traffic is quiet. I agree that the food is not quite as good as it used to be but is still one of the best breakfasts around ( esp. now CafeBlanca is less of a food place and more of a bar). The barber next door is recommended by my husband and there are, as mentioned above, some excellent shops. FS2 - I must second the recommendation - is one of the best kebab places. The Tai Wu is good (often overlooked as it is so near the fab Le Querce and Babur) and there is a quaint old china shop too.

oryx said...

I've only been once in the year & a bit I've lived in S. Brockley/HOP but found it very good - the only off-putting thing was having to wait about fifteen minutes for a table, and it was a weekday morning! Definitely up for a return visit, though.

I'd agree with spincat about how good Le Querce, Babur and Tai Wu all are.

patrick1971 said...

Cafe Blanca now seems to be called "Barrio". I'm a bit put off by the big telly they've got in there.

mljay said...

you still get the almond biscuit if you order a coffee - they are called speculoos and are a dutch/ belgian coffee biscuit!!!

also they do lovely freshly squeezed orange juice - the real thing, not "freshly squeezed" into a bottle.

i usually have omelette with salad and chips and they are consistently good.

Amanda said...

The biscuit is back!?! yay, I'll be down there to check soon.

Richard said...

Great to be able to get fresh orange juice and milkshakes. I also like the mediterranean & posh breakfasts with halloumi, honey, etc. Lovely alternative greasy breakfasts!

Definitely not an unforgiving location, but the site was up for sale a while ago (doesn't seem to be any longer), so perhaps they've struggled to capitalise.

For one reason or another a few businesses have had difficulties on that stretch - Casa Tequila was doomed from day dot due to poor management (I worked there), Red Room was fantastic but the owners did a runner and the Bar Equal/Visualeyes/Into the Fuschia triumvirate died a slow death. The new bakery always seems empty & I've not been impressed by the produce.

On the other hand we now have Tapastry, Old Bank & Le Querce, while Tai Wu has been around for donkeys. There's also been an art & framing shop for some time, the bespoke furniture shop seems to be doing fine, as does the deli (which has nothing on Dandelion Blue or Degustation). Honor Oak must surely be rich pickings for commuters & parents/kids from Stillness primary, but for some reason the area has attracted a few feeble enterprises over the years.

spincat said...

I go for the mediterranean and 'posh' (scrambled egg with smoked salmon on ciabatta, for those who have never been!) breakfasts too.

Agree the bakers is a disappointment: it was so good to see one open but they only seem to sell a very small range range of (not very nice) bread and a few 1950s style pastries. If they sold some of the Turkish bread and pastries (I think the owner is Turkish), as sold in TFC in Lewisham they'd do very well - I'd be in there every day.

mljay said...

again, not SE4 BUT new beauty salon opened on the HOP parade, called Neroli. Been there twice - nice environment if you want to treat yourself to a facial/ massage etc etc. Uses all natural/ organic stuff....

Also, rumours are that tapastry is expanding sideways. And florist shop that closed is re-opening... as a florist.

Think there are issues with rent levels when leases come up for renewal.

I agree about the deli, the Brockley ones are so much nicer but it does have a good range of products. The bakery is a big dissapointment but at least there is one!!!

Amanda said...

Bar Equal was a good place. It really enhanced that area. I just hope those unrented shops are not turned into flats.

Anonymous said...
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spincat said...

Anonymous - what is 'brown envelope action'?

I agree with you about Barrio or Bar Rio - how I miss the old place and old management; not so much cos of the late night noise - which must be difficult for the flats which are right by it - but because of the nice food, drink and ambience, it was such an unusual place. They really had daft plans for the place given its size and how close it is (practically in a block of flats).
Now it looks like it will lose its drink licence and probably then close and eventually become another estate agent.

Matt local said...

I have been going to Mclarens' for years but have recently stopped as I always find that after enjoying the fantastic Veggie breakfast and excellent coffee I leave smelling like I cooked it!! The Ventillation in there is bad. I wish they could get a fan or open the door cos I miss it on a Sunday morning, but cant go on smelling of grease all weekend after a visit!

Anonymous said...

I can heartily recommend the simply named 'CAFE' by moonbow jakes

Problem solved said...

Matt you can sit outside.

patrick1971 said...

Can't see a review posting on here for Maclarens on Brockley Rise. Just wanted to say that I breakfasted there yesterday with a friend of mine; they're now open Sundays. Very good value, £5.95 for a huge full breakfast with tea. Nice to be able to sit outdoors on their decking area also. Only slightly spoilt by one of the residents of the flats opposite playing extremely loud music (why on earth do people think this is acceptable behaviour?), and one of the other local residents walking past to go to the shop in his pyjamas!!!!

Anonymous said...

The place has been open for years on Sundays. It's a very relaxed unpretentious, nice atmosphere. Don't spoil it for yourself or others by getting uptight about small things such as someone feeling comfortable enough in their neighbourhood to go to the shops in pj's.

mary said...

Went here about a month ago and it was honestly the worst meal I have ever been served. It was disgusting!

Hugh said...

We have Babur and Le Querce. Why try more harder u get me.

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