If you are looking for a halal brunch cafe located bang on in central London with good food, then you must check out Apple Butter Cafe in Covent Garden! Located just off the Seven Dials circus on Monmouth Street, Apple Butter Cafe is a cosy and charming eatery that has everything ticked on the list for the perfect brunch date.
It is completely unsurprising that there’s always a queue outside. We made two visits – with the second visit specifically to try out a seasonal dish available for that week. Both times there was a queue but it moves fairly quickly if you’re in a small group. The restaurant doesn’t do reservations so either visit early or factor in an extra 15-20 minutes for queuing when you plan that brunch date.
Apple Butter Cafe: An East-Meets-West Brunch
The name Apple Butter refers to the picturesque apple tree that makes the centre masterpiece of the restaurant. It’s got a very laidback and charming atmosphere that whisks you away from the hustle & bustle of London. It almost feels like you are dining in an enchanting garden, especially with the foliage over the ceilings.
Apple Butter Cafe has been on my list for quite a while and, better late than never, I’m very glad to have finally ticked it off. It first got on my radar with its signature Croissant Butter Pudding and its seasonal Milk Cake offerings. From these two desserts, you can probably tell that the cafe features a crossover and fusion between traditional European and Middle Eastern flavours. This fusion concept is reflected throughout its entire menu for both savoury & sweet options. They also pride themselves in serving speciality coffee which is something I was very keen to find out. All meats served are halal at Apple Butter Cafe.
The Food: What We Ordered
Date of visit: July 2022
You’ll have to keep an eye out on Apple Butter Cafe’s social media to find out what flavours they’re serving as it changes every week. The pancakes were the reason we promptly made another visit. On our original first visit, they were serving tropical fruits toppings, which we’re not interested in. Then in the following week, we spotted that the flavour of the week was Lotus Biscoff and I made it my absolute priority to make a visit again that week!
The pancakes were thick and fluffy, prettily drizzled with Lotus Biscoff, and topped with Biscoff crumbs, whipped cream, and Biscoff biscuit. I was bracing for quite a rich indulging dish but was delighted to find a well-balanced sweetness to the pancakes. Though towards the end, the pancakes felt slightly dry which is a minor criticism of the dish.
Truffle Scrambled Eggs (£15.50)
For savoury breakfast options, I immediately had my eyes set on the Truffle Scrambled Eggs. It comes with a generous portion of creamed mushroom over a bed of scrambled eggs and a thick fluffy slice of brioche toast. The black truffle wasn’t extraordinarily distinctive but rather more of a subtle undertone. Personally, my favourite part was enjoying the lightly crispy brioche toast soaking up the sauce & savoury flavours. It’s not a particularly stellar truffle dish, but a decently nice mushrooms & eggs breakfast dish with a homely touch.
Wagyu Beef Burger (£22)
We know obviously Apple Butter isn’t a burger joint but we were intrigued by the Wagyu Burger offering and decided to try it out. We’re delighted to report back that the wagyu burger was delectable, featuring a thick patty topped with caramelised onion, spicy mayonnaise, Montgomery’s Cheddar, pickles and salad greens. The meat quality was fairly decent and generally juicy to taste. I personally find the toppings & sauce have complemented the burger very well and allowed the flavours to shine. It comes with a side of sweet potato fries, which were a good munch as well.
BBQ Beef Sandwich (£18.50)
We also tried out the BBQ Beef Sandwich, which had been a satisfactory munch as well. The braised bbq beef was tender to bite and paired nicely with the peppers and spring onion chive sour cream. Those salad leaves created a lovely balance from the richness of the beef and also gave a light crunch to the sandwich. It comes with a side of french fries, which were lightly salted, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. All in all, it was a lovely pick.
Croissant Butter Pudding (£10.50)
Moving onto the most anticipated item on the menu – the famous Croissant Butter Pudding! Crispy on the outside, yet perfectly gooey and custardy on the inside and with a luscious buttery taste, this twist on the classic bread & butter pudding was truly a stunner. It was nicely laced with pecan nuts which added extra texture to it. It comes with a side of thick caramel sauce that offered an extra richness to the pudding. Previously, this croissant butter pudding was only a seasonal appearance on the menu. But you’d be ecstatic to hear that this is now a permanent item on the menu now! Having heard so many good things about this dessert, it did not disappoint at all.
Creme Brulee Latte (£6.50)
As mentioned above, Apple Butter Cafe offers speciality coffee and actually has quite an extensive menu of options to choose from. They use Allpress Espresso for all its coffee drinks and you can also order the likes of V60 Drip Coffee and Turkish Coffee, as well as a range of flavoured speciality coffee. The Creme Brulee Latte caught my eye the most and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Essentially, it’s a latte with plenty of sugar sprinkled on top of the milk foam and then torched till crackly. It’s certainly fun to be knocking the top with your spoon to crack that torched crispy layer. Moreover, that torched sugary layer adds a welcomed subtle caramelised tone to the latte.
Black Sesame Latte (£5.50)
I also got to try out the Black Sesame Latte from the speciality coffee menu but it didn’t win my heart as much as the Creme Brulee Latte did. It’s very nutty to taste which I personally am not quite used to. Nonetheless, I thoroughly appreciated the pretty presentation with the heart-shaped latte art and sprinkle of black sesame seeds.
Restaurant Review Summary
Brunching in central London doesn’t get any better with Apple Butter Cafe. All in all, it has lived up to its reputation and could easily be one of the top halal brunch spots in London. It’s slightly on the expensive end but it’s not bad as an occasional brunch treat. Plus, considering the location and atmosphere, I suppose it’s normal for the price tag to be slightly higher. During our first visit, the service wasn’t particularly too great but our second visit was absolutely lovely.
All meats served are halal.
Nearest station: Covent Garden