Address: 293–295 Railton Road, Herne Hill, London SE24 0JP
Phone: 0207 733 6676
Opening times (for food):
Tuesday – Friday 12 Noon – 2.30 pm and from 6.00 pm
Saturday 12 Noon – 3.00 pm and from 6.00 pm
Sunday 12 Noon to 3.30 pm
Despite the Railton Road address, Llewelyn’s is definitely in Herne Hill, just to left of the Station. If it hadn’t been so hot we might well have walked through Brockwell Park but, in the event, we went by bus, calling in en route at the First Aid Box (review here) for some excellent cocktails.
Llewelyn’s inherits a site with a history. Many have mourned the loss of “Pullen’s”, and before that the brasserie “La Provencal” but the site now offers a modern minimalist style. The blank canvas is potentially noisy, especially on a hot Friday evening. But we had the added bonus of one diner on a nearby table having a laugh that was on the threshold of pain. Nevertheless, the three of us enjoyed the food and will doubtless return.
There’s a relatively short menu (six starters and seven mains) plus some specials offering a choice in what can best be described as an eclectic European, i.e. a range of influences covering most of the Mediterranean. For starters we had pickled mackerel with new potatoes and mustard mayonnaise, griddled sardines with chilli, garlic and parsley, and pea soup with hazelnuts and crème fraiche. The pea soup was excellent although, given the hot summer evening, a chilled version might have been a better choice. The sardines and mackerel also got votes of approval.
For the main course we went for the “beef lasagna for two”, which came with a minimal salad, and the grilled whole place with beurre blanc and chips. In truth the lasagna would have been plenty for a family of four (the photo has no scale but believe us it was large). We took nearly half of it home to eat the following day. And the plaice was a monarch of the species, well cooked on the bone with a crispy skin and enough bite left in the flesh. The chips were in a small but sufficient portion being OKish, rather than great.
This was really enough but conscious of our responsibility to our readers, the three of us shared a well-cooked almond tart with ice cream.
Despite or perhaps because of the pre-prandial drinks, we shared a bottle of white wine (Gran Cerdo Blanco from Rioja) and, for the lasagna eaters, a couple of glasses of red (Vina Ilusion Joven, also from Rioja) that always seems essential when eating meat sauced pasta.
The service was competent and friendly with the total bill, including a discretionary 12.5% service charge, coming to £128.25.