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.

Afandina,

afandina01

Afandina Lebanese Cuisine
133 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9TN
020 7737 7577

https://afandinalebanesecusine.co.uk/

Opening hours: Noon to midnight, every day

This restaurant was Turkish last time we visited (see our review of Red Onion from 2015) but now is Lebanese serving Halal food. It is still incredibly large and we have never seen it full, so if you need somewhere to eat any day of the week (open midday to midnight) then this is the place for you. Alternatively it does takeaways and you can even stay at home and order a delivery. We were the only sitting customers at 7.30 on a Saturday night, but it was appalling weather. Also, maybe, because it is a little uninviting, with a vast space in the back, high ceilings everywhere, and relatively sparse decor on white walls. Cosy, it’s not, even with the fan heater they provided to help dry us out. But they have tried to soften it with real flowers on every table – ours was a lovely pink rose. Continue reading

Roe

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Address: Unit S38, Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Rd, SW9 8PQ

Website: https://www.popbrixton.org/members/roe/

Opening Times:
Monday – closed
Tuesday 5-10pm (last booking 9pm)
Wednesday 12-3pm (last booking 2.30pm) 5-10pm (last booking 9pm)
Thursday 12-3pm (last booking 2.30pm) 5-10pm (last booking 9pm)
Friday 12-3pm (last booking 2.30pm) 5-10pm (last booking 9.30pm)
Saturday Brunch 11-3pm /Lunch 12-3pm (last booking 2.30) 5-10pm (last booking 9.30pm)
Sunday Brunch 11-4pm/Lunch 12-4pm (last booking 3pm)

Online booking: https://www.resdiary.com/restaurant/roe

Email: info@popbrixton.org

This Pop Brixton venue has changed hands several times but has been fish restaurant the last two times. The painting of the fish on the ceiling is probably  some encouragement to stick to this theme. Eight place sittings on long tables mean that there is room for the waiting staff and it doesn’t feel crowded. Sit away from the door for a view of the open kitchen.

This is fish, fish and more fish. You can choose a la carte or just have the six dish tasting menu for £25. We were on a strict time limit, so we chose two dishes from the a la carte to share between us and a dessert each. The menu has 4 parts – starter sized dishes, small plates, mains and then desserts. Continue reading

Craft Beer

Beer02Locally brewed ‘craft’ beer is now definitely a thing and, seemingly, in danger of getting out of control. So in the interests of helping our readers make sense of what’s happening, two of us set out on a Saturday lunchtime to try what was on offer locally. We focused on the three breweries in Brixton of course, although you only need to go as far as Herne Hill to find further options.

So what we have are:

Clarkshaws – Arch 497 Ridgway Road, SW9 7EX, 079 8940 2687
https://www.clarkshaws.co.uk/index.html

Brixton Brewery – Arch 547 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, SW9 8PF, 020 3609 8880
https://www.brixtonbrewery.com/

London Beer Lab, Arch 41 Nursery Road, London, SW9 8BP, 020 8396 6517
https://www.londonbeerlab.com/

Continue reading

La Barra

14e Market Row, London, SW9 8LD

https://www.instagram.com/labarralondon/

Open:
Fri: 1600 – 2200.
Sat: 1100 – 2200
Sun: 1200 – 2200

This taco restaurant and bar was taken over at short notice, done up on a shoestring, so you can see the leftovers of Rosie’s, which turned into a Persian cafe and is now La Barra. It opens for a short time – three days a week – and is still so hidden that on a Friday night the place was empty at 7.00pm. The service was friendly and, unsurprisingly given we were the only customers, prompt. Continue reading

Fish and Chips supper – Where to buy

We never know where to buy fish and chips, so we called a consensus meeting to rate four fish and chips shops around Brixton. Six people, with more than a hundred and fifty years of experience of fish and chip suppers, sat down to rate cod, chips and mushy peas each on a five point scale from the following outlets:

Brixton’s Cod 118 Acre Lane, Brixton SW2 5RA – Link

Chip Shop  378 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton SW9 8LFLink

Fish Lounge 99 Brixton Hill, Brixton SW2 1AA – Link

Olley’s 65-69 Norwood Rd, Herne Hill SE24 9AA – Link

Continue reading