Serendip Supper Club by Pol Boy

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address: c/o Brixton Pound Cafe, 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU

website: https://polboy.co.uk/

email: thuli@polboy.co.uk

This was a Saturday night pop-up that took place at the Brixton Pound Cafe. Following a tip-off on Instagram, we booked on-line through the eatwith.com website, not really knowing what to expect.  What we got was food that’s described as being from Sri Lanka to the streets of London and is aimed being representative of all the different people who call Sri Lanka a home. It’s the brainchild of Thuli, who describes himself as a British-Sri Lankan. Continue reading

Salon

address:   – 18 Market Row, Brixton, SW98LD
telephone: 020 7501 9152
email:  info@salonbrixton.co.uk
website: http://salonbrixton.co.uk/
Opening times:
Monday                         Closed
Tuesday to Friday       noon–3pm, 6–11:30pm
Saturday                       10am–3pm, 6–11:30pm
Sunday                          10am–3pm

Salon won our eatinbrixton annual poll a few years ago and many of our foodie friends really rate it. Since the last lunch we ate here they have made changes. Gone are the uncomfortable chairs and the huge tables. Now there is a mixture of matching chairs and an upholstered bench which even had some back support – bliss compared to the previous rocky furniture.

We made up a foursome with friends. Upstairs in the main dining room they offer four course tasting menu, with only a choice of main course (baked celeriac or ox cheek). We also went for the wine pairing, so that took away even more of the worry and negotiation on what bottle(s) to buy. Continue reading

Courtesan

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address: 69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU

telephone: 0208 127 8677

website: http://www.thecourtesan.co.uk/

Opening times:
Monday                               noon–11pm
Tuesday                               6pm–11pm
Wednesday & Thursday   noon–11pm
Friday to Sunday               noon–midnight

We have reviewed this Chinese restaurant a few times before (see here, here and here). The fact that it hasn’t moved on, as so many others have, suggests it is definitely meeting a market. We thought we would try it at lunchtime, rather than our usual evening meal ventures. It was empty, so no need to book and plenty of time and quiet for a good natter. There is a dining room downstairs but we sat upstairs, all alone in a window seat.

The menu is full of Dim Sum (a sort of Chinese tapas). But as well as steamed, fried, baked or grilled buns there are also lotus leaf parcels and Courtesan has tried to fit into the Brixton vibe with jerk chicken sticky rice in a lotus leaf or the jerk ribs. Continue reading

Mamalan

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Unit 18, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR

https://www.mamalan.co.uk/

OPENING TIMES

Monday 12:00 noon – 4:00pm

Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 noon – 10:00pm

We haven’t reviewed this restaurant for four years (see here and here), so  a revisit was essential. Mamalan is named after the chef’s mother and serves Beijing street food. They have developed a thriving takeaway and delivery service and spread its wings from Brixton to a couple of other venues. We needed to give up people watching to concentrate on other things so we chose to eat inside. Although there are tables for two or four they are really squeezed in, so you need to do a bit of mountain climbing to settle into place.

The Village fills up at 1.00 pm and so to make sure we had a table we arrived at opening time, 12.00. The menu isn’t taxing – four soups, three rice dishes, a salad and side dishes which all warn you about the level of chilli. Side dishes include hot chicken wings (“some say the best in London” – a bold comment in the heart of jerk chicken land). We ordered the Wonton Noodle soup and the Sweet Chili Chicken rice which were easily enough for lunch.

The Chicken lived up to its name, crispy chicken pieces with sticky sauce on rice with a little side salad.

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The Wonton soup was also pronounced delicious, but the broth didn’t have much depth of flavour. The menu described it as “light” so was definitely not oversold. There were plenty of pork and prawn wantons.

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Both bowls were demolished and were washed down with a ginger ale and a can of diet coke. My only complaint – plastic straws. The bill came to  £27.50 for a very satisfying meal.

 

Franzina Trattoria

Address: 395 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LQ

Telephone: 07802 473444

Website: https://franzinatrattoria.com/

Open everyday from 12.30 pm to 11 pm: except Tuesday 6-11 pm

This is a new restaurant that has relocated from Brixton Pop. It is now a real restaurant, but in a venue that has not had a good run of restaurants. They have all been pretty good (Calcutta Street, The Phoenix, etc.) but all have found it taxing and have moved on or closed. This new incarnation has just opened and we wish them well. The new decor is stripped back but happily it is light and airy. We were so pleased not to be turning on our camera torches to read the menu. This is a Sicilian style trattoria serving small plates and homemade pasta to eat in or take away. It’s the sort of restaurant where you would find Montalbano chatting to the waitress and discussing all the ingredients of an arancini. Continue reading

Dumplings and Bao (formerly On Cafe)

Address: 31 Clapham Park Road, London, SW4 7EE

For reservations: Bookatable

Telephone: +44 20 3759 0162

Opening times:
Monday: 17:00 – 21:00
Tuesday – Wednesday:: 12:00 – 21:00
Thursday: 12:00 – 21:30
Friday – Saturday: 12:00 – 22:00

This restaurant in Clapham (not Brixton but near enough) has recently changed its name, so it now makes clear what they actually serve – dim sum. Also known for its macarrons. It is small, with about 15 covers at the front and a table for a party of 18 in the back.

Their menu states that they do not use MSG, but have different spices to make their baos and fried and steamed dumplings taste good. We thought the addition of chilli or the soya sauce might be the boost they need. Much of their custom seems to come from takeaways but we sat inside for a early Sunday lunch. Continue reading

Khan’s of Brixton

Address:  24 Brixton Water Lane, London SW2 1PE

Telephone: 020 7326 4460

Booking on the website toohttp://www.khansbrixton.co.uk/

Opening times: 5:00 pm to Midnight, every day

We have been here often, over the years, (see here, here and here). Previous reviews have commented on how few people there were, so we were suprised at how busy it was, even if it was a Friday night. Boy was it busy, so remember to book in advance. It was fully booked upstairs, so we had to have a table downstairs (who knew), with a very noisy party of 20 men. It was hard to make conversation, even with the person sitting at your side.

sympearThe staff are really helpful, warned us about the noise, fed us plenty of poppadoms on the house and got our food as quickly as possible. It does not have a license, so bring your own or buy around the corner. There’s several places to get your booze but we had met up at the relatively new craft beer place, The Sympathetic Ear, on Tulse Hill. (That’s opposite Sainsbury’s, for those worried that it might be at the West Norwood end.) So we all had cans of the excellent Peckham Pils.

We chose mainly from the Khan’s specials, highly recommended part of the menu. But there was a lot to choose from, with starters covering all the usual fare – meat and vegetable pakoras, puris and samosas, kebabs and obviously onion bhaji. We ordered some onion bhajiis to stave off the hunger pangs and for mains we went rogue with butter chicken, chicken korna, chicken tikka bhuna and murchi lamb accompanied by plain naan and pilau rice. Our dishes may not be quite hot enough for the Friday night hardened chilli eater, but they were just right for us.

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The butter chicken was really a bit of a wash out. Although the chicken was soft to eat there really was too little spice. The korma was a step up but in my view the bhuna was the best. The spice with the tomato and onion was a big step up and, although without too much heat, the dish was at least a few different textures. The lamb got a favourable reception as well – well cooked and not tough and gristly. The naan was hot and light and the rice was very well balanced – not too much salt or coriander but enough to detect.

The bill for four of us came to around £70, so it’s still good value. We will be back, but just not on a Friday night. For our Friday night curry fix we will probably just order the takeaway from their website.