What? “The nice part of Westbourne Grove starts here”. That’s what the lady next to me said as she momentarily glanced up from her phone. I’m not sure what prompted her to say that, but I’ll take her word for it. If this is the start of the more des-res area then it’s a pretty good place to start. Tab X Tab is a new artisan coffee shop serving up brunch all day (there is a saviour) and coffee from Bocca.
New? It opened back in July but they’ve only recently launched their all-day brunch menu.
Where? At the start of the nice part of Westbourne Grove, apparently, 14-16 Westbourne Grove, W2 5HR, www.tabxtab.com
On the Menu: The all-day brunch menu includes the sort of dishes that would refuel you after your Saturday morning workout in neighbouring Notting Hill, mainly avocado on toast. Taking a note from nearby Farmacy, there are vegan options too: a house chia pot, matcha macarons and house amaranth porridge with coconut milk, pear, hazelnut, figs and a blueberry and maple syrup compote.
The Look: Letting the coffee do the talking, Tab X Tab has a stripped back, industrial vibe with grey walls, sharp lines and a heavy, grey counter laden with cakes. The elements are brought in, in the form of wooden topped stools and a large, rough edged wooden table and plenty of ferns – on top of the counter, table and hanging from the ceiling. Or, get amongst the elements (if you count concrete as an element of London) and sit at one of the handful of tables outside.
What We Ate: Opting for the classics we go with avocado on toast (although it actually arrived on bread) which was topped with a coriander, cashew and lime dressing and a side of salmon. Mini banana pancakes arrive with strawberries, caramelised banana, soy yoghurt and we add bacon to it. Undoing out semi-virtuous behaviour we finished with a dense, squidgy brownie.
What We Drank: Coffee comes from a collaboration between Amsterdam producer Bocca and Ozone of London and we had it in latte form served in heavy earthenware mugs. If you’re not a fan of coffee then you can order smoothies too, but unfortunately our mango, banana and orange was lacking the essential ingredient of mango. Surprisingly still good.
Go With: A coffee-fan would be preferable, but you Tab X Tab isn’t the sort of place you even need to take someone, it’s just as a good as a work space as it is somewhere to catch up with friends. Given it’s size it isn’t really suitable for a large group, you wouldn’t come here to celebrate your birthday, but you would drop in before a walk in the nearby Kensington Gardens.
Final Word: Anywhere that does brunch all-day is always going to be a winner in our books. Tab x Tab is first and foremost a coffee shop, whilst the brunch is good there is so much competition in the area that they need to up their game if they want to keep up.
Tab X Tab: 14-16 Westbourne Grove, W2 5HR