Beehive Place

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http://beehiveplace.com

11 Beehive Place, Brixton, London SW9 7QR

Telephone: 02072062376

Email: eat@beehiveplace.com

Sandwiched in the road next to Brixton Rec and directly behind the pub that no one should ever go in unless it’s an emergency is The Beehive. This is a pop-up that claims to be the best in locally sourced British food. With the food changing weekly, it’s a five course tasting menu from the team behind the roaming restaurant Chateau Marmont and chef Sam Hodges.

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Save Our Shops

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We’ve posted about A&C Continental Delicatessen; The Moroccan Cafe; L S Mash & Sons; and Cinco Quinas and they remain among our favourite places in Brixton. We are so lucky to have food shops and places to eat in Brixton that offer such good value and high quality. But unfortunately, as many readers will already know, their future is under threat. Their landlord, Network Rail, is giving all of them notice to quit, along with all the other businesses in the triangle between Atlantic Road, Brixton Station Road and Popes Road. Similar action is being taken against shops under the railway arches in Herne Hill. The stated reason is that they want to renovate the arches under the railway line but the real objective is to make more money by upping the rents.

The ArchesA storm of protest has ensued, unsurprisingly. Vague suggestions have been made that businesses will be allowed to return when the work is complete but it must be open to question how many will survive, given the interruption to their trade and the certainty that rents will be significantly higher. Without doubt it would be good to improve the entrance to Brixton Station but much more would be tragically lost, especially those businesses that make Brixton special. See this and other posts on Brixton Blog for more details

Network Rail do have a responsibility to use its resources efficiently. But it also has a legal responsibility to protect the environment in which it operates. Article No. 37 in its Articles of Association sets out the Objects it is expected to follow. It starts out with all the stuff you might expect about running a railway but it includes, some way down, the following section:

“37.1.28 To have regard to the protection of buildings and other objects of historic,architectural or other significance when formulating and implementing proposals and more generally to participate in, manage and co-operate in projects or works designed to restore, preserve, improve or protect the environment.”
I think that “environment” needs to be understood in its widest sense and it’s clear that the proposals would inflict significant damage on the environment of Brixton town centre.
If you want to help defend our shops there’s an online petition here 

Mama’s Jerk at Market House

mamasjerk05Address: 443 Coldharbour Lane SW9 8LN

Telephone: 020 7095 9443

Information food: http://www.mamasjerkstation.com/

Information venue: http://www.market-house.co.uk/index.php/foodie/

Market House has a record of getting good and interesting food (see here for an earlier example) and we can say from the beginning that this is a winner, although we recommend that everyone should concentrate on their signature dish – the chicken.

Getting a table at Market House, especially on a Saturday night, can be a problem, so think ahead and book. Then when you arrive you need to work out that you have to order the food at the bar, especially if you arrive a bit early.

The menu consists of meat and one veggie option – with Jerk chicken, Jerk pork sausage, Jerk saltfish cakes. Depending on your option you get it in a wrap with salad, with sweet potato mash or jerk spiced fries, rice and peas, battered plantain and coleslaw. Most come with tropical mayo, BBQ sauce and/or Jerk sauce (very hot).

We ordered a chicken meal and the sausages. The chicken was fantastic, lots of depth of flavour but not overdoing the heat, as long as you didn’t try dipping in the pepper sauce. The sausages were also interesting but overdone.

The slaw  was great and very colourful, and the mash was spicy and warming. The plantain …. well what can you ever say about plantain – heavy but with the addition of the mayo or hot sauce was a sweet addition to the whole meal. The disappointment (apart from the sausages) was the rice and peas which didn’t taste fresh or really of very much – Brixton clientele are the most discerning of this staple, which is sold in all the Jerk chicken shops (see our run down of takeaway shops ). But we thought Mama Jerks chicken was a definite contender for the best of Brixton.

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Most dishes are £8.00 to £10.00 and the total bill came to £36.40. This included, thanks to the Market House’s extended happy hour, two £5 cocktails while we waited (an excellent caipirinha and an interesting electric boogaloo)  and two beers (Sagres) to drink with the meal.

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address: 133 Stockwell Road, SW9 9TN

tel: 020 7737 7577

This is a Turkish Grill and Restaurant which serves Halal. It also describes itself as a coffee shop and ice cream parlour. We really hadn’t noticed it until we went for a brisk Sunday walk past the Portuguese restaurants near the skateboard park. Although unprepossessing and relatively small at first glance, this is one of those restaurants that has a large back room with a very high ceiling. Given the number of balloons it is no doubt used for parties but it would be a bit impersonal for dining, particularly as we were the only ones eating in – the take-out trade was quite brisk however.

Decor consists of high and heavy wooden tables and solid wooden chairs. There are silver lamps over the counter where you order takeaway and the other wall is covered with silver doors and a long row of electrical sockets. We sat in the front part but as far away from the door as possible, given that it was one of the coldest nights of the year. The waitress put a fan heater next to us for which we were grateful. It gave us a good view of a tv screen with revolving photos bizarrely of kittens in cups before it moved on to capitals of the world and enabled us to test our general knowledge while we waited for our order.

This a classic Turkish food, or at least the version you get presented in London. The menu is divided into cold and hot starters, steak, charcoal grills, casseroles and specials including pide which is the traditional turkish pizza. Much of the menu had been crudely crossed out, including many of the more interesting items. So for a starter we chose Imam Bayildi, a staple and long time favourite, to test the cooking but they didn’t even have that. Consequently we stuck to mains and went for a Lamb Shish Iskender and an Adana Kofte. But before they arrived a bowl of warm bread and a large mixed salad (onions, red cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, …. the works) with a spicy tomato sauce and mint yogourt dressing in side bowls were presented. So we would almost certainly have over-ordered if we had included a starter.

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The Lamb Iskender has a base of chopped and probably fried bread, tomato and butter sauce with yogourt. A substantial portion and not at all part of a calorie controlled diet but was really good.ro04

The Adana Kofte was described as “chargrilled spicy minced lamb serviced with rice”. It’s like a long sausage and not the prettiest thing you’ve seen on a plate but it was tasty.ro05

They do not serve alcohol but are happy for you to nip across the road and buy a beer and bring it back. It was too cold for that so we ordered a bottle of water which turned out to be Turkish as well.. Although other on-line reviews we read after our visit suggested that this was a hit or miss affair, that was not our experience. We were served promptly, although we were their only customers so we really counted as a diversion.

Our meal (two large main meals, salad, bread and water) came to £20.48.

 

Valentine’s Guide to Brixton 2015

It’s that time of year again when romance is thrust upon the British public, so to make it easier for our readers we have put together another short guide to how to survive Valentine’s day in Brixton.

Our ideas are set out below, with links to our full reviews if you want more details. In terms of special deals we couldn’t really track many down (but do let us know if we missed any!).

Satay Bar have their own special menu, including a Lotus sharing platter to start and specials such as slow cooked lamb cutlets in a sweet soya and chilli sauce and pan fried salmon curry. In addition, the slightly alarmingly named ‘Happy Endings’ dessert menu is also new, with a Valentine’s chocolate box and pink champagne sorbet. This place tends to be quite lively, particularly on a Saturday night, so isn’t ideal if you are looking for an intimate, quiet night.

The Lido Café are also offering up a special set menu. We actually gave this place a big shout out on Valentine’s guide last year. In the crassest way possible … this place is SO pretty. Alongside a Rhubarb Fizz, some of the choices include a scotch egg and oysters to start, with trout and guinea fowl for main. To finish there is a Valentine’s sundae for two and a chocolate mousse. The set menu will set you back around £45 for three courses and a coffee. This is a bit pricey but as more people seem to throw all the money they can at Valentine’s these days, I’m sure this won’t be a problem for some.

Seven have hinted at some special hundreds and thousands themed cocktails so definitely head there for a nightcap or as a beginning to the evening. It’s filled with candles, so that’s got to be romantic right?

Other venues we’d suggest for something a bit special include:

Salon - much like Seven as it’s intimate and filled with candles, plus the food is wicked

Casa Sibilla – mainly for their Prosecco and Italian tapas, perfect to share.

Effra Social – they’ve got an amazing hidden dining room in the back and have also got a sharing menu (get the duck for two!)

As it’s not all about the food, in terms of drinking venues we would suggest the aforementioned Seven, the new Brixton addition Shrub and Shutter down Coldharbour lane and The Wine Parlour on Atlantic Road.

If you don’t fancy any of this I suggest heading to Effra Tavern or Trinity Arms for the evening (or whole day) and grabbing a pint of Red Stripe and a packet of pork scratchings, because it’s just another day, and a Saturday at that. Just make sure to finish off the day with a takeaway from Refill.

Big love to you all x

Gremio de Brixton

gremio04 address: underneath St. Matthews Church, Brixton Hill SW2 1JF

telephone: 020 7924 0660

http://gremiodebrixton.com/

It’s more than a year and a half since we first reviewed Gremio (see here) but little has changed, although the lighting is better and the number of customers has swelled. It lies underneath St Matthews Church with the entrance down some steps on the northern/town centre side. The crypt is a restaurant and bar with tables outside overlooking the Peace Garden – even in the depths of a winter’s night there were a few hardy souls or perhaps committed smokers sitting there. It is a bit like a cut down version of the Mezquita in Cordoba. Lots of pillars obscuring the view of the other diners, making the spaces a bit more intimate (so might be good for Valentines). The bar is dark and looks smoky, although, of course, it isn’t, but the spaces are again small and dark. The restaurant tables have overhead lights, making it possible to read the menu.

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Breakfasts in Brixton

Attempting to provide more round-up entries in response to requests by friends and followers means we are being a bit slower than usual in the rate of posts. There is, after all, some sort of limit to the times we can eat out. And this one also took a little time because although we are prepared to eat almost anything in serving our readers, the weight we added over the Christmas celebrations has meant some dietary restrictions. This particular topic has doubtless increased our cholesterol level.

Breakfast to us is the first meal of the day – luckily Wikipedia agrees. This, of course, means it can be taken at any time and, although we are not late risers during the week, we certainly are at weekends. However, all the breakfasts described in this post were eaten before noon. This is really just the first installment in covering a substantial topic that illustrates the variety of what’s on offer. In particular, there will be more to come on that topic of regular debate; where to get the full English variety. Continue reading Breakfasts in Brixton