El Rancho de Lalo

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Address: 94-95 Brixton Village Market, SW9 8PS

Telephone: 020 7737 2648

Opening times:
Monday to Wednesday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

email: elranchodelalo@hotmail.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Rancho-De-Lalo/156815314336773

El Rancho de Lalo has been in Brixton Village for as long as we can remember and has just re-opened after a bit of a spring clean and paint. It was one of the first places we reviewed, favourably, back in 2012 and it still holding its own. Thankfully, the menu hasn’t changed much and it is sticking to filling (see photos below) simple Colombian food. We went around 12:30 pm on Friday lunchtime and had to wait, briefly, for a table. By the time we got our food there was a lengthy queue, both for sit down meals and takeaways.

The inside has not changed except there are fancy new extractors and three large colourful paintings that could have a Columbian origin. Thankfully, the seating is more comfortable as well.  Tables outside now have a heater and all seats (including those inside) have a blanket. There are only eight tables inside and we shared with a single woman who clearly knew the menu better than we did. The service was friendly, came with a smile. Most diners were South American and Spanish was the main language spoken on the tables near us. So the hipster community can regard this restaurant as authentic. Continue reading

Tiger and Pig

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Unit 9 First Avenue, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PR

Telephone 020 7501 9362

Tiger and Pig is in the alley to left as you enter Brixton Village from Coldharbour Lane. The name is a play on the Chinese zodiac. They indicate compatibility in relationships, although what it has to do with the food is anyone’s guess  – although it is a Chinese establishment. Small with just a few plain tables with benches inside and out. The ceiling is covered with lots of different sized white paper lanterns – really jolly. Continue reading

Ganapati – a short bus ride away

Ganapati01address: 38 Holly Grove, London, SE15 5DF

telephone: 020 7277 2928

closed on Monday

http://www.ganapatirestaurant.com

It was an outing from work and this restaurant was chosen to fit with all the different dietary commitments. It serves a South Indian menu and many reviews discuss how good the food is and how uncomfortable the chairs are. On our visit we were very involved in the conversation and didn’t notice the comfort. Within the five people we had a couple of keen “foodies” and a couple of pretty accomplished chefs, so this was a definite test of the food. But you will need to wait for our final judgement. Continue reading

Louie Louie – a short bus ride away

address: 347 Walworth Rd, London SE17 2AL

Tel number: 020 7450 3223

Reservations: resdiary.com

Website: http://louielouie.london

This restaurant is easy to miss – I did – walking right past even though the restaurant is clear, it is hard to spot the name above the door. On a corner in the Walworth Road this is a small, well tiny really, restaurant with tables for two and four and not many of them. But it was ideal for a night of business and pleasure in a Dry January. It is a cafe with cakes and brunch during the day and a restaurant/bar in the evening with pop-up chefs . We hit it on Taco Tuesday – a Mexican pop-up for the next few weeks. Continue reading

Donburi & Co

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Brixton Station Road

This is a really useful addition to what Brixton has to offer, with simple but tasty Korean and Japanese food from a short menu. It’s aimed mainly at the takeaway market but there’s space at a couple of counters with high stools for those who can’t  wait to taste the food. It’s housed in a small shop front that’s had a chequered history. The planned burger bar failed to open because of problems with the ventilation.

You can choose between donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish); bibimbap (Korean mixed rice); or hirata buns (Japanese steamed buns), and all come with a variety of meat or vegetables.

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/

We have visited Shrub and Shutter [see here and here] on many occasions, mainly for the cocktails and some appetizers. But on this occasion we went the whole hog and had an early impromptu dinner (book if you decide to go as they just squeezed us in).  It doesn’t have a big sign, so just keep walking on Coldharbour Lane after Brixton Village and it is on the left hand side near a Fish and Chip shop and Okan Ramen. Although the frontage is narrow it stretches back into a reasonable sized restaurant with a very eclectic feel – pictures, blackboards and a stuffed fox. Opened by two entrepreneurs Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza, known for their mixology -they now have a pop-up looking after the food. Chris Boustead & Tomas Bidois cook modern British dishes using seasonal produce and for the whole menu you need to get in early as they run out of some items. Continue reading

Using Xmas leftovers

Chez EatinBrixton

It has past twelfth night and what is noticeable this year, whether because of over-catering or undereating, is the quantity of leftovers. So this post is some ideas of what you can do with them. We try our best not to throw food away – it is a waste of money, time and the environment, but not all of our cooking was trouble free.

  1. Goose (from Jones the butcher) and Ham (Tesco’s)

One of the high spots of my Christmas is the left overs from Christmas dinner reheated on at least two days following the feast. That’s because by the time we sit down for dinner on Christmas Day I am usually too full of appetizers and champagne to fully enjoy the food. When it comes to reheating, the roast potatoes do need to go back in oven but the rest (including the gravy in a separate pot) are fine when simply heated in the microwave. This year was no exception, with plenty of goose and ham leftovers, even after we had sandwiches for eight on Boxing day.

There was even enough meat remaining and, more importantly, both ham and goose stock to make a cassoulet, using the haricot beans from the cupboard. In the end it was not a great success as it was left in the oven too long and, as a result, ended up being much too dry. Next time we will follow Felicity Cloake’s recipe in the Guardian more closely, substituting the leftovers for her ingredients where appropriate. A little went a long way and there’s still some lurking in the back of the fridge.

The copious goose fat is rendered down and put into clean dry jars. It keeps a long time in the fridge but this year we plan to give some away. This is mainly to avoid a repetition of the annual ritual of throwing away the remainder of last year’s goose fat, having completely over-estimated the need for roast potatoes during the course of the year.

  1. Panettone (Lidl)

These large bread/cakes are pretty hard to eat your way through and we ended up with quite a lot leftover, even after using it in the Boxing Day trifle (too much like bread to be very successful but no-one minded as it was full of sherry). So next try is a marmalade bread and butter pudding. Layer slices of Panettone with melted marmalade (home made) and custard (4 eggs and a pint of milk). It depends on the depth of the container but three layers is probably enough. The top is sprinkled with sugar and butter so it becomes crisp. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. When taking it out it should wobble in the middle but not be liquid. Serve with cream – double if you didn’t overeat at Christmas and single if you are worried about the waistline.

  1. The Gingerbread House (Tesco’s)

I used to make a gluten free gingerbread house each year, as one of our children suffers from an allergy. Although it taught my children several swear words, when hot syrup dropped onto my thumb, I had to accept that it was never actually eaten. It just sat on the table and collected dust until late January, when it was finally thrown away. So for the last few years I have bought a kit. I had hoped to ditch it this year, but one nostalgic daughter saw a kit going cheap on Christmas Eve when she braved the hell that is Tesco’s shortly before closing time; the saving grace was she put it together.

After removing the sweets, various Santas, snowmen and, unaccountably, Bambi, break up the biscuit and remove as much Royal icing as possible. Put all the biscuit into a food processor until you have crumbs. This then makes an excellent base for a cheese cake – just mix with butter and if there is enough royal icing, there’s no need to add any sugar. Press into the bottom of a cake tin and cover with cheesecake mix (either the cooked or chilled kind).

Alternatively, sprinkle the crumbs on clementine sorbet or, easier still, clementine granita (our favourite source for the fruit is Nour Cash & Carry). If you want a richer dessert put the biscuit crumbs on the bottom and cover with liqueur or brandy before putting the sorbet on top (this is inspired by a dish on the revamped menu from Shrub and Shutter).