Canova Hall

address: 250 Ferndale Road SW9 2BQ

telephone: 020 7733 8356

email: bookings@canovahall.com

https://www.canovahall.com/

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

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

Pieminister

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Address: 10 Market Row, Brixton SW9 8LD

Phone: 07713 322507

email: brixton@pieminister.co.uk

website: https://www.pieminister.co.uk/restaurants/brixton/

Opening times:
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

Salon

address   – 18 Market Row, Brixton, SW98LD

telephone: 0207 5019152

email:  info@salonbrixton.co.uk

http://salonbrixton.co.uk/

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.

Continue reading

Canova Hall

address: 250 Ferndale Road SW9 2BQ

telephone: 020 7733 8356

bookings@canovahall.com

https://www.canovahall.com/

We usually wait until we have had a few trips to a new restaurant before we review, but on this occasion we really wanted to provide them with some feedback.

This new restaurant is based in an iconic building which used to be an annex of the Bon Marche department state and was subsequently used as the Brixton Post Office. The renovated interior is designed by Red Deer with the usual exposed brick, pipes and a long Edwardian style panelled bar. Most seats are banquette style which seat 6 people at a squeeze but there are tables outside and inside for bigger parties. Not only do they offer meals and a fully stocked bar with plenty of small vat gins but you can also hot desk with a sessional card which allows bottomless coffee. So were were pretty excited when six of us went for Sunday Brunch.

Brunch menus offer a mix of alcoholic cocktails, a selection of egg dishes, pasta and, of course, a bacon sandwich. The big bacon sandwich was just that – big. Three slices of toasted sour dough with bacon, eggs, and the spicy tomato ketchup (mushrooms were missing on mine) with chips. The chips were delicious but toasting the bread was a complete mistake. You needed good teeth and a sawing method with a knife to get through the thick crust. We advise thinner slices or less crust to begin with.

American pancakes were more like welsh cake size – small and perfectly formed but not the gross US style but were perfectly edible. The Italian baked eggs didn’t need to be called Italian but were also OK. Finally the Chef’s meatballs (‘Nduja tomato sauce, parmesan with pecorino, lemon & red onion focaccia) was also OK but came about 15 minutes after everyone else’s food but we filled him up on the chips.

We washed it all down with three or four cocktails and coffee. One of us had the ‘bottomless mimosa’ but the service was so slow there was no chance of making good use of the option.

This lack lustre review is because we were left without any attention unless we overcame our natural inhibition and grabbed a waitress. Coffee came quickly, cocktails came slowly (took half an hour) and the food took an hour to appear after we managed to order it (more than 90 minutes after we arrived) and then not all the dishes at the same time. We saw every single member of the waiting staff and no-one seemed to be in charge of looking after our table. We were relatively early (11 am booking). The place was full by 1.00 pm and we have no idea if late arrivers got their food by the end of service although other reviews we’ve seen suggest that our experience was fairly typical.

Sunday brunch is a time to relax with family and friends and we were happy to do so but not when anxious that we would be forgotten yet again. This is a management failure in terms of the training and allocation of staff. The bar was within spitting distance and we should have had our drinks in short order. By the time that brunch arrived we were all fed up with the place.

We wish them well in the future and we will make another attempt when they’ve got their act together. The bill (which was wrong on the first attempt) came to £126.00 for six. We didn’t leave a tip.

Smoke & Salt – Pop Brixton

Address: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, London SW9 8PQ

Telephone: 07421 327556

http://www.smokeandsalt.com/

A new addition to Pop Brixton in the restaurant/shipping container that used to be Kricket. This is a quality small plates restaurant and maybe, like Kricket it will end up in Soho. The layout has changed just a little, with the long passage with a few tables inside and a high bar whilst outside for the foolhardy, are tables for four. The three of us shared the only inside table that takes more than two people – it was cosy.

The short menu is in three parts and the advice for the three of us was to choose two from each section and potentially one on top for the very hungry. We stuck to six dishes so we had room – but not much – for dessert. All dishes arrived at a leisurely pace so we could linger over each and all are small enough not to fill you up but are large enough to share.

Continue reading

Duck Duck Goose

Address: Pop Brixton (left avenue) 49 Brixton Station Road, , London, SW9 8PQ

http://www.duckduckgooselondon.com/

Opening times:
Tues-Thurs + Sun: 12-3.30 6.30-10.30
Fri-Sat: 12-4 6.30-11
Mon: Closed
No Reservations

We have been trying to be at least vegetarian in “Vegan January” but this place was too tempting. We thought of posting it in February but that would be cheating, so we are having to own up to a lack of willpower. Duck, Duck, Goose is a small Chinese restaurant in the middle of Pop Brixton that, according to its website, is “inspired by the old school Hong Kong cafes and roast meat shops” and will be “informal, affordable and buzzy.” Housed in a single shipping container it’s certainly cosy. Overall our reaction is favourable, although this is still work in progress. Continue reading