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.
Address: 24 Clapham Road, London SW9 0JG
Phone: 020 7735 6111
Opening times (for food):
Wednesday – Thursday: 18:00 – 22:00
Friday – Saturday: 12:00 – 15:00 & 18:00 – 22:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 16:30
The restaurant is set back from the road and has an outside veranda for those who need more sun. Inside is modern and spare in furniture. This was a work dinner on a weekday, so we arrived at 6.00 pm and even with the warm weather the restaurant was pretty empty except for the determined cocktail drinkers. We got rid of most of the business part of the meal first – oiling the wheels with an Aperol Spritz and a Campari Spritz (or two).
There are three menus – one a la carte and two tasting menus (vegan and non-vegan). We went for a la carte. First up came sourdough with smoked butter. The butter had half melted and I am not sure I could taste any smoke but the bread was pretty good. Next came the homemade charcuterie which was all tasty and we really loved the ham. We continued on the meat theme with beef crockets – again delicious.
The smoked eel with the turnip cannelloni and apple made a good interlude as did the jersey royals with crispy skins cultured cream and lemon which looked lovely but wasn’t a highlight.
This built to the main event – a really delicious dish called “Daphne’s Welsh lamb” which was to share. It consisted of roast loin, Lancashire hot pot, slow cooked belly, BBQ offal served with smoked aubergine, fennel and preserved lemon. Unfortunately our photograph was a bit shaky (no comments please) but it was a large portion for two and every bit was delicious.
We washed it all down with a bottle of rosé and the final bill came to £150 including the tip. Shame we couldn’t charge it to the firm. It was expensive but a lot was due to the alcohol and over-ordering and you could certainly do it for less and it would still be delightful.
Address: 336 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8QH.
Phone: 020 7326 0643
Monday – closed
Tuesday 5pm – midnight
Wednesday 5pm – midnight
Thursday 5pm – midnight
Friday 5pm – 2am
Saturday 5pm – 2am
Sunday – closed
Our normal approach is to keep you in the dark about what we think about a restaurant but we are breaking with this practice to tell you that Oxalis (the current pop-up caterers at Shrub and Shutter) are brilliant and we are not usually so enthusiastic. It’s not complicated food but it is imaginative with a focus on flavour.
We have reviewed the cocktails before; see here, here and here. But on this hot and steamy night we went for wine and beer. There are lots of things to choose from but we cut out that difficulty by choosing one of the tasting menus. There are two – one veggie and one with meat. We had the meat option. On top of this we were given an “amuse bouche” (aren’t we posh) of a warm squid ink cracker with dark crab meat topped with a lardon. Now you get the way this is moving. It was delicious – so delicious that it was eaten before we could take a photo.
Then we moved on to the main menu – a delicious tomato salad with elderflower and mustard. I am soon going to run out of superlatives as it was the best thing to start us off – fresh with little bursts of mustard flavour. All four of us were delighted.
Fennel tortellini, poppy seeds and crayfish – even though these are tasting menu portions there was definitely enough crayfish. So just sublime with a crunch.
Pork, kohlrabi and sea buckthorn came next- sounds interesting and it was but also excellent.
The empty half of the plate left room for some vegetables; new potatoes and grilled gem lettuce as shown in the photographs, plus some mange-tout.
The simple dessert was cherries, cream and a garnish of the eponymous oxalis (Google just said it was an edible weed, which doesn’t sound very appealing, but most of you have probably heard of wood sorrel).
All this flavour and innovation for £30.00 a head. The bill of was larger, of course, as it included our wine and beer. As we were celebrating in company we didn’t stint ourselves, although I paid for it with a hangover. Oxalis popped up in Shrub and Shutter just a month ago. It will be around for another 4 or 5 months but don’t waste any time – go and eat as soon as you can.
address: 250 Ferndale Road SW9 2BQ
telephone: 020 7733 8356
This is our second visit to this restaurant and we hoped for a better experience than on our first occasion that you can read about here. Luckily it was nothing like the earlier disaster, but service was still a bit slow and they still have a few raw edges to smooth off. We also need to report that we did get an apology following our previous visit and an offer of hospitality in compensation (which we didn’t take up as we are still anonymous).
Canova Hall is based in an iconic building which used to be an annex of the Bon Marche department store and was later the Brixton Post Office. We describe the interior in our earlier review but, in brief, it’s like a proper brasserie where eating and drinking both have their place. It is a squeeze fitting in six people at a table on the side but we are all reasonably slim, despite all the eating. Continue reading
address: 336 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8QH
telephone: 020 7326 0643
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
Address: 10 Market Row, Brixton SW9 8LD
Phone: 07713 322507
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – Thursday 11.30am – 10pm
Friday 11.30am – 11pm
Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am – 10pm
We can still just remember Brixton’s last pie and mash shop (where Nanban is now), although there are still examples of the real thing in other parts of London. The nostalgia can be overdone, as the meat filling could sometimes be questionable and the ‘liquor’ watery. But now Brixton has gained a ‘new-wave’ pie shop, in the form of a branch of a chain going by the name Pieminister. Prepare yourself for some rather feeble puns. Continue reading
address – 18 Market Row, Brixton, SW98LD
telephone: 0207 5019152
Salon has little changed in decor from its previous incarnation. Just a few more tables which are easier to sit at and the arrangement still allows for squeezing past with balanced plates. Downstairs is also now a place to dine on high stools.