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The Dynamo Balham

Restaurants, Cafés Balham
3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A cycle-friendly café on Ritherdon Road.

As you’ve probably guessed, The Dynamo is a café with a cycling theme. But it’s not a cycle café. Though there are framed jerseys and a place to hang your wheels, there’s no fix-up service. Instead, it’s all about all-day brunch (9am-4pm) and pizza (from noon).

And the brunch dishes are excellent. The ‘full Dynamo’ is not to be confused with a full English. It’s an all-the-cool-stuff plate of Antipodean sunshine food: a trio of large, juicy, sweetcorn fritters; a couple of pieces of streaky bacon; grilled slices of squeaky halloumi; a pile of nicely lime-zesty crushed avo; even a dollop of mild sriracha mayo. And if somehow that’s not enough of a meal, you can add a couple of beautifully poached eggs (for £3). Almost as good was Les Filles Eggs – a plate of smoked trout, more of that limey avocado, more lovely poached eggs and a scattering of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. All of this served over a thick slice of good quality, if slightly soggy, sourdough.

But the killer dish was the banana French toast: nothing like actual French toast, it was a slice of insanely good banana bread – buttery to the point of almost dripping – served with coconut yoghurt, caramelised fried bananas, a few strips of crispy bacon and fresh berries. A word of warning, though: at £10, it’s expensive. If you’re on a budget, get a simple piece of banana bread with a pat of speculoos butter for just £4.

Sadly, The Dynamo lacks charm. A large site, with tiled floors and wipe-clean tables, it’s little too practical for its own good. Worse still was the service: three different staffers were set on serving us, not communicating with their colleagues, getting orders wrong and generally being shambolic. I wanted to like them, but sometimes being well-meaning is not good enough. The Dynamo has got potential, but it’s got a bit of a hill to climb.

Details

Address: 16-18 Ritherdon Road
London
SW17 8QD
Transport: Tube: Balham
Price: Brunch for two with soft drinks and service: around £35.
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