address: Eurolink Business Centre, 49 Effra Rd, London SW2 1BZ
telephone: 020 7733 9346
This is a café on the way from central Brixton up towards Tulse Hill. So it’s a little out of the way and difficult to spot as it is within the distinctive white Eurolink Business Centre (previously Brixton’s Synagogue). The café is well advertised in the car park. It is a small light venue that is open for breakfast and lunch. They provide sandwiches for the people who work on the premises, which provides space for many small business units. This means there are likely to be a few people sitting around taking a break. We decided to go for lunch and were greeted by a friendly face who explained all the menu and makes a few suggestions. The table tops are also double as menus, so you can review your choices while you wait. The walls also provide a bit of entertainment, so you can guess the country where each photo comes from while you wait.
The menu consists of cold and hot dishes, desserts and a selection of smoothies with a helpful list of calories with them. We chose from the hot menu which has a strong Italian influence – Spaghetti amatriciana, spaghetti pescatora, Pollo al forno (Chicken with rice and vegetables) and a spinach and tomato or a lamb lasagne. We chose the pescatora and the vegetable lasagne. We were asked if we were happy to have the spaghetti spicy. This is hearty food – a large plate completely heaped with spaghetti and the lasagne was a large slab. The spaghetti was OK with enough fish of various types to justify the description although, in the event, not particularly spicy. The lasagne was more disappointing – it needed more seasoning and it wasn’t what was advertised on the menu – not a bit of spinach or tomato in sight. We were asked what we thought of the food and mentioned the menu change. It seems this batch was actually courgette and other stuff, so it was hard to see the filling as it didn’t stand out from the béchamel sauce. The saving of the dish was the reasonable helping of side salad, which had an interesting pesto dressing.
We drank a coffee and tapwater (which came with ice) but there were lots of smoothies to choose from.
We were absolutely full and didn’t finish either of the plates but we will probably only go back to try to breakfast for a little while and will certainly ask for more information about each dish. They seem to be a socially responsible as there is a post on Brixton Buzz about their contribution to the Macmillan Coffee Morning and the coffee was good, so it may be more of a place for a mid-morning snack.
The hot dishes were all £5.50 and because of the mix up with the lasagne they didn’t charge for ourcoffee, so it came to £11.00.
We polled the public (who follow this blog) to see what their favourite restaurant in Brixton was. Last year’s winner Upstairs has sadly closed (not due to a lack of custom). This was a surprise result as it was not in the vibrant Brixton Village but a few yards from Lidl on Acre Lane. This year the list of restaurants had grown so we had to cut it down to a reasonable list but incorporated some of our favourites and a range of cost and culinary offering.
Although we have tweeted the results we thought we would also mark it with a blog post too. As our readers know we try to ensure our anonymity when we visit a restaurant and therefore could not tell the winner in person. We decided to stop waiting for a selfie from the staff at the winning restaurant and have gone ahead with the post. If we do receive one we will insert it here.
We left the poll up for a couple of weeks and we would like to announce that the winner was ……….dah, dah …. SALON………. Again the winner was not in Brixton Village but is in the heart of the market – Market Row. Salon offers a choice of small plates to accompany a drink or a full set meal. It focusses on good local and well sourced produce which you can also buy in the ground floor deli (see our posts). Like last year’s winner this is not cheap food but is clearly a favourite for those special occasions and the food is really good so worth the outlay. We have often noticed the birthday and anniversary celebrations and with the bigger tables and improved kitchen this is the place to choose.
Although Salon was the winner it was closely followed by a Brixton staple – Franco Manca. The place where there is always a queue but it doesn’t take long to get a seat and the pizza is definitely one of the best in London. Almost every restaurant on the list did get a vote so clearly they are someone’s favourite although the vote this year was more limited thank the last one as we put better security on it so restaurants couldn’t keep voting for themselves.
Even though Salon was the winner the coming Brixton Flavours – http://www.brixtonflavours.com/ – will provide a chance for all to showcase their wares.
Address: 67/68 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PS
Telephone number – 077 9249 2112
Monday: Closed, Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday: 11am-5pm, Thursday: 11am-11.30pm, Friday: 11am-11.30pm, Saturday: 11am-11.30pm, Sunday: 11am-5pm
Casa Sibilla is an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Brixton Village. The market used to be full of sharks and fish of varying colours with vegetables that had to be boiled for days and then still seemed uncooked. It now has Italian restaurants – not only Italian but which actually say they serve food from particular areas of Italy. Casa Sibilla serves us food from Puglia and Piedmont. We have visited on and off but had not reviewed it for some time – so here goes. We booked – yes booked – on Opentable. This is certainly more organised than they were – or anyone is – in Brixton Village. Continue reading
71 Acre Ln, London SW2 5TN
I wouldn’t describe myself as a great fan of Lidl, but for some things it’s really useful. I rate their parmesan cheese and some consumer tests have given high marks to their olive oil. And it’s cheap. There’s also the entertainment value in checking out what random items they’ve got on special offer for that week. Recently I bought a weighing machine for the bathroom and a blood pressure monitor at prices that, compared to those at regular shops for such items, are ridiculously low. Their fruit and vegetables are often good quality as well and for something like gazpacho you can get a really great value meal, without any compromise on taste.
Address: Brixton Village Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8PS
Telephone: 07715 439857
We discovered that on warm Friday evenings when Brixton Village is stuffed that there are always places to be found furthest away from the main entrance. These are a little warmer than the ones near the breezy entrance but you don’t have to wait for a table. When we came across Elephant it was almost empty with large and small tables available. It is too small to have many inside so they are all in the alleyway.
Elephant serves “authentic Pakistani street food” and has a short list on its menu but even so it is hard to choose. There are lamb or vegetable samosas which you can have with chickpea curry, a vegetable pakora and thalis vegetarian, chicken or lamb) and similarly curries.
Our favourite has been the vegetable thali so that is what we chose again. It comes as a round dish divided into spaces with dhal, rice, vegetable curry, a tomato salad and a cucumber raita. The vegetable curry is soft aubergine, sturdy potato which is not sloppy in an onion sauce. The flavours are fantastic nothing fancy like a coriander seed hitting you between the eyes but all clear and yet subtle. All the grains in the rice fell away from each other but on top it was a little crispy. The dhal was hot with chilli and with a good sprinkling of garlic. This is comfort food but was also really full of flavour – despite the sweated brow mostly caused by the ambient temperature rather than the spice.
They serve water and a variety of soft drinks including lassi and masala chai – they are BYO …but they ask for a £2.00 supplement per person if you do bring your own wine or beer. Now for an expensive bottle of wine that might …just might ..be OK but if you just bought a £1.00 bottle of beer then this is really extortionate and we did point that out.
The bill came to £17.00 without any drinks – we just stuck to the water.
Address: 2nd Avenue Brixton Village
for all bookings please email firstname.lastname@example.org‘
We don’t eat out much at the beginning of the week but this was too tempting. A pop-up in Cornercopia and their USP is rissoles. The Pickled Fork settles every Tuesday in the same spot and provides a simple array of salad and rissoles with real ale. Rissoles according to Wikipedia are small croquettes enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried. They are filled with sweet or savoury ingredients, most often minced meat or fish and is served as an entrée, main course, dessert or side dish. They are served all over the world and now in Brixton Village. At 7.00pm the restaurant is not full so make your way further back in the Village to get a seat fast and taste these little beauties. Continue reading
So we’ve hit three years of the blog and to celebrate we thought we would allow our readers again to choose their favourite place to eat in Brixton. We did the same thing last year to celebrate two years, check out the post here.
So, what’s happened in the past year? Well for the blog we’ve hit 97,000 views, 120 posts and accumulated a fair few Twitter followers. In terms of food in Brixton, places have changed hands and names, plenty of new faces have appeared in the market and the surrounding area. It seems there is no stopping the restaurant and foodie reputation that Brixton has accrued in the past few years.