Brixton Flavours Festival

So.Much.Food. From sushi and brownies to chicken and tortillas and crepes I have actually only recently regained my appetite after our gluttonous evening in preparation for the brand new festival Brixton Flavours. With the actual day not until Sunday 26th October we were invited to see what the whole thing was all about this week and also apparently to eat our whole body weight in food.

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Brixton Flavours states that it is a festival to introduce people to the wide variety of cuisines and restaurants that our beloved hometown has to offer. It was clear from the way the organisers spoke that that they were committed to making sure that they didn’t just go to the well-known haunts in town, but to showcase all that Brixton has on offer. This is something that we at Eat in Brixton are always striving to achieve so it’s brilliant to see others with such passion as well. The day ticket holders are invited to sample secret dishes not usually available on the menu from over 22 restaurants around Brixton (full list of those participating can be found here). You will also be given 15 Brixton pounds to spend in any of the participating restaurants, so incorporating the idea of boosting the local economy.

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Papi’s Pickles at Cornercopia

65 Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour lane,London, SW9 8PS

Book through Edible Experiences – http://www.edibleexperiences.com/p/216882085/Papis-Pickles/240001/South-Indian-Sundays-Brixton-Cornercopia

Breakfast 10.30 to 12.30

Brunch 12.30 to 3.30

In residence from 14th September to 2nd November

Papi’s Pickles have now joined a long line of guest chefs at Cornercopia. Appearing on Sundays Papi’s pickles offers a South Indian Sunday breakfast and brunch at reasonable times for the earlier risers and the laggards. The food is said to come from the Navaratri Festival, which means 9 nights in Sanskrit – Navaratri represents a celebration of the Goddess Amba and at this time of the year is referred to as Sharad Navaratri which is the most important festival. The reason for mentioning this is not only because the menu does but also because it comes with lots of dishes with different coloured peas and beans (black-eyed, mung chick, green moong, soya etc) which are integral to this celebration. All the food is vegetarian and gluten free or lactose free or both. There is a very limited set menu for both breakfast and lunch which offers either a coconut masal dosa with the spicy potato filling or two plain dosas. We chose one of each and shared but we advise you to have the filled ones unless you really do not like potatoes. Continue reading

Honest Burgers

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Unit 12, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PR

www.honestburgers.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7733 7963

Mon: 12.00–16.00

Tues to Sat: 12.00–22.30

Sun: 12.00–22.00

Amazingly its nigh on three years since we reviewed Honest Burgers. We are not great burger eaters but, for a variety of reasons, we paid a couple of visits recently, so it seemed an opportune time to produce another review. A big change is that there are now six branches across London, from Tooting to King’s Cross. So the question is, does this mean they have taken their eye off the ball or will they still offer our previous judgement “… the best burger I have had south of the river”.

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Cinco Quinas

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13 Atlantic Road, SW9 8HX

020 7501 9540

Closed Sundays

This is a Portuguese butcher in one of the railway arches in Atlantic Road, so vegetarian readers might wish to stop right here. For some time I thought that the name was “Talho Acougue”, because that’s what it says most prominently above the shop. But this just means “butcher butcher” using two terms for the same thing, depending on what variety of Portuguese is being used. The shop sign also displays the flags of Portugal, Brazil, Madeira and the UK, which also suggests something of the background. Continue reading

Shrub and Shutter

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address: 336 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8QH

telephone: 020 7326 0643

info@shrubandshutter.co.uk

http://theshrubandshutter.com/

This is a new venture – so new that it doesn’t have a large sign but just a discreet one fitted earlier on the day we visited. So when you get to Brixton Village, just keep walking down Coldharbour Lane but keep a look out, as it’s easy to miss. It lies in an unlikely position on a stretch that has plenty of restaurants (see our post about Majestic), but none of these are for the higher end of the food market. It’s opposite the Barrier Block, between a Morley’s Fried Chicken and a Fish and Chip shop. This is a new bar/restaurant with a narrow frontage but stretching back a long way so don’t be put off if it looks full from outside. The front part is really a bar with two tables for four and some bar stools around the edges. The back room has many more tables and is set for the evening dinner trade. It was opened by two entrepreneurs Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza who have 25 years of experience in the industry. I don’t know whether that is by drinking or preparing the cocktails but they do describe themselves as drinks impresarios and we have to agree that they are very creative – more of that later. There’s been some discussion on the Urban 75 Brixton forum here. Continue reading

Carioca

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address:   25-27 Market Row, Brixton,  SW9 8LD

http://www.primadonnabrixton.co.uk

This is formally Prima Donna and has now become definitely authentic Brazilian so it now has a USP (unique selling point).  It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not much has changed except the menu since its earlier incarnation. There are a few tables inside and they are not crowded together so you can hear yourself think above the music – much more Brazilian than previously. There are also tables in the market corridor.

Breakfast is a full English or with a twist (smoked iberico pancetta, free-range scrambled eggs & baked tomato slices on ciabatta – showing multiple influences again as iberico is from Spain and pancetta from Italy). You can be very conservative with the hamburger made with Brazilian beef (seems a long way to go for that ingredient). But we arrived in the evening – 7.00pm to miss the crowds. There is a fixed price two course menu and we chose from that one as it had all the interest we needed. It also did offer an excessive choice, which is something we are both wary . For starters there were – spicy chicken wings. braised beef empanadas, beetroot and blue cheese salad and Pao de queijo with choizo (a sort of cheese roll usually made with cassava flour but we didn’t try this one). The main course were Feijoada described as Brazil’s national dish. A stew made from black beans cooked with an assortment of meat (chorizo, pork ribs, beef and pork); Chicken Caipira – braised chicken; Arepa, which is a flatbread made of maize filled (or they say stuffed) with pulled beef and vegetables; and finally Courgette, Potato and Leek Frittata, which is an explanation in itself. THe main menu also has more grilled items like spare ribs and steak and cassava chips. Continue reading

Cafe Le Euro

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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.

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euro02We 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.