I find that some of the best conversations happen over food, particularly brunch where chatting over coffee and yummy food on a weekend morning feels both productive and relaxing.
One of my favourite pastimes is to find new and exciting places to have brunch, and especially more local business locations, so when I was invited by the Sotonbloggers to attend a brunch at Lakaz Maman* in Southampton’s Bedford Place, I jumped at the opportunity.
With brunch, comes chatter, and that morning, as we were joined by the owner Shelina, I was reminded way it is so important to support local business.
Over baked eggs in a spicy sauce (which by the way were incredible and totally different to any dish I’ve had before), the most delicious sweet cinnamon toast (I’ve literally had dreams about the stuff and have every intention of recreating them with the amazing salted caramel sauce), and the most unique ‘torpedo’ breakfast stack (muffin, turkey bacon,chicken sausages and an egg, served with a spicy dip), we learnt a little about Shelina’s life and how she built her restaurant after winning Masterchef in 2012 – We also learnt a little bit about the realities of Masterchef, which I am currently obsessed with!
It is blindly obvious that Shelina, her family and her team love what they do. It isn’t just a job.
Every part of the menu is beautifully inspired, and the restaurant itself has the warm comfortable feel of being away on holiday (the entire restaurant is themed on Mauritius hence lots of bright tropical colours and flowers) and I think this can only really be brought to life by people who are truly passionate about their work and what they’re creating.
Lakaz Maman has been in Southampton for a couple of years now, and with a lot of hard work, and many mistakes (their words, not mine) they’ve learnt a lot and brought something to the city that is set apart from the other local restaurants.
And that’s what sets apart local independents from the chains.
The passion and love. Caring about their staff, their product, their business and their customers.
The best levels of service I find are almost always at smaller independents. The best food, which is more often locally-sourced too, is found in the places that are focused on bringing something new to the table.
And supporting local business just feels good.
You can literally see where your money is going. You’re helping a family follow their dream and that’s pretty damn satisfying.
And the food is pretty satisfying too.
*brunch was provided as part of the Sotonbloggers Meet Up event. All opinions and thoughts are my own.