Last weekend my mother was in town, and as you always do when a relative comes to visit London, you go for brunch. Most 20 or 30 something Londoners’ weekend life revolves around Friday evening drinks at the pub, Saturday morning brunches, Sunday roasts and ‘today I will eat healthy’ Mondays. Basically, brunch is an institution in the Big Smoke and a lot of places do it really well so competition is high.
We decided to go back to Noak in Brockley which we very much enjoyed! Upon arrival, we discovered that 1) the restaurant had been repainted and 2) the name had been changed to Norbert. Wait, what?
Noak was no more and had been replaced by its British brother Norbert. We headed in anyway as we were hungry and a bit curious. The interior remains very similar to what Noak’s used to look like. The waiters were with us straight away and efficient to take our orders and serve food, which in full honesty is where Noak wasn’t great. The previous team was on the slower and more disorganised side, so there have definitely been improvements there!
The Nordic-inspired breakfast platters seemed to have left with Noak but Norbert brunch menu looked promising, British classics made with local products.
We ordered coffees which were good! (not always the case in London)
My mum went for the vegetarian full-English served with halloumi and avocados. It was tasty and filling, just what a full-English breakfast is supposed to do!
Both Andrew and I went for the poached eggs served on sourdough bread with wild mushrooms and Bayonne ham. It was really good! I was genuinely impressed, the products were flavoursome and fresh.
What struck me too is how good the plates looked. You can tell that the people in the kitchen have some sort of gastro/fine-dining experience. So I googled them and discovered that the head chef has worked at Michelin starred The Galvin Brothers at La Chapelle. Not bad at all!
So for those of you who knew Noak and have yet to try Norbert, I can confirm that it is a bit of an upgrade! Noak had that lovely little local coffee eatery atmosphere, Norbert offers a more elevated restaurant-like experience but still at a decent (London) price.
My only regret? The cinnamon rolls are gone! People of Norbert, if you read this post, please, please, please consider bringing the cinnamon rolls back!
A great unplanned (re)discovery and a new potential favourite local brunch spot!