On a sunny Saturday afternoon my friend and I popped down to Common Ground by Finsbury Park for a different kind of brunch.

It was refreshing not to see any English breakfast, eggs royale or other regular items on the Common Ground menu because let’s be honest pancakes, bacon and poached eggs on English muffins can get a little tedious after a while.

Despite the first name the menu is not common at all, we spotted Gangam style croissant with kimchi, toasted black sesame, seaweed flakes and fudgy egg. Cilbir Turkish eggs on garlic yogurt and tomato charred pepper sauce. Sweet brunch waffles with seasonal fruit and mascarpone whipped cream to name just a few.

My friend went for Panzanella with Isle of Wight tomatoes, carosello cucumber, yellow peach and burratta. It was a very vibrant dish. Isle of Wight tomatoes add a distinct sweet and sour flavour. Having seen them on a few menus of various establishments now, they have become the ‘it’ ingredient and definitely worth trying.

Panzanella was light and flavoursome with plenty of notes from creamy mellow burrata to sweet peach with crunchy chunks of sourdough. My guest completed the dish with a refreshing Clean It Up juice – freshly pressed lemon, cucumber, red apple and ginger.

While I ordered an equally bright item – Smashed peas beetroot hummus, as the name suggested it was indeed smashed peas with beetroot almond hummus, salsa verde and sourdough with poached eggs.

A very jazzy looking plate with different textures, hummus was silky smooth with a slightly earthy note owing it to the beetroot. It was well balanced by ground with bits almost neon green peas mash and crunchy spring broccoli.

Following my friend’s example I got a Fresh Start – orange, carrot, apple and a dash of ginger. The juices were very pleasing, served in generous portions to last till the end of the correspondingly sized dishes, unlike some brunch places serving drinks in almost miniature glasses.

On the entrance I spotted a large selection of pastries including pastel de nata and babka. We were obviously not going to leave without them. My friend being a fan of everything Portuguese indulged on a creamy pastel de nata.

I went for babka, a breaded sweet bread filled with chocolate, cinnamon, apples or nuts. It is a Jewish sweet bake, which originated in Jewish communities in Poland and Ukraine, also commonly found in other parts of Eastern Europe and Russia.

About two or three years ago it started appearing in London bakeries, even Waitrose No1 attempted its own version this year, which sadly was less than impressive.

Contrasting to Waitrose’s babka, this was light and spongy with an ample chocolate filling, just the way I remember babkas from my childhood memories.

The traditional way would be to have babka with sweetened black tea with a slice of lemon but since I am an adult who already glanced at a tempting list of brunch cocktails I might have skipped the leafy drink.

Common Ground has a few classic brunch cocktails with a twist such as Grapefruit Spritz and Kimchi Bloody Mary.

I opted in for a bitter sweet Grapefruit Spritz with red peppercorns, concluding that kimchi might be a bit too fiery for a hot Saturday afternoon. We left pleased with our healthy meal and some carbs for thought.

The Common Ground menu is arrestingly different and healthier. Nowadays with its Instagram fame, brunches became more of a fashion statement overwhelmed with presentation, little flavour and snobbish waiters who refuse to take table reservations. Expecting the poor morning people to queue outside for hours.

Common Ground takes reservations and although it has more than Instagrammable dishes they have flavour. The décor should also not be overlooked – industrial finish indoors and a little green paradise garden for al fresco dining outside.

We brunched in the green garden under the shades of plants and interesting sculptures, my favourite being a crocodile or an alligator, a more v-shaped nose suggesting it was probably the former.

Address: 49 Stroud Green Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 3EF