SW9 bar and restaurant

sw9_01Address, 11 Dorrell Place, Brixton SW9 8EG

telephone: 020 7738 3116

Opening times:

Monday – Friday: 10:30am to 11:30pm

Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 1:30 am

This is not to be confused with the sushi bar on Brixton Road, which is from the same stable. This is the restaurant and bar behind M&S, at the end of the alley way just off Brixton Road. It has been here for years (we even went in an earlier incarnation, when it was the Brixtonian) and has evolved into a bar with food. See a previous review from more than five years ago, here. Happy hour (when we visited) has cheap cocktails but they still serve food to slow down feeling tipsy.

Decor is bar style with more low level seating and a few chairs that allow eating easily at the tables which are round and square and scattered. So choose a sofa or a table for the more substantial meals. Most people were drinking with snacks but we opted for the standard menu as the special board was unavailable on Monday.

So after ordering a margarita and a vodka martini, we had fried squid with chili sauce and steak and chips with grilled tomatoes. Both come with a bit of salad, so you can feel a little bit healthy. The squid was crisp and appropriately starter sized. sw9_03

The steak came on a wooden board making it even higher on the table, so the low seating was definitely not a good choice. But it was suitably “medium”, as requested, and had great seasoning. The tomatoes were also well cooked, so they were sweet, tart and easy to eat. Just as well, as it you have to juggle to keep everything on the board. The potatoes in the chips had the skins on them and were a bit soggy, perhaps because they came in a metal dish. sw9_02

After two vodka martinis and a margarita (£5.00 each at happy hour) we had a bill of £35.50. Our view – well the menu was limited but we enjoyed the food and drink. It is not a place for a quiet drink but it is open on Mondays, which is a bonus for us.sw9_04

 

A short bus ride away – The Rosendale

rosendale0165 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, London SE21 8EZ

Tel: 020 8761 9008

https://www.therosendale.co.uk/

We set off for our usual Christmas walk with friends and family on a fresh but beautiful sunny day. Our Christmas walks have not always such an enjoyable day out as this one, taking us through Brockwell Park and on to Dulwich before heading for West Norwood. But it is easy to catch a bus too. Continue reading

A short bus ride away – Trinity Restaurant

address: 4 The Polygon Clapham, London SW4 0JG

telephone: 020 7622 1199

http://www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk/

I booked this restaurant for a Sunday evening as a treat with my daughter. I hadn’t realised it had one Michelin star and so definitely up-market for the area. But we didn’t feel under dressed, which may be a plus or a negative. I like to go to posh restaurants in posh clothes, as there is not much opportunity for dressing up these days, but most other diners here were in relaxed garb like they did this every day. Upstairs it is more casual dining but it is closed on Sunday, so we ate downstairs with its cool walls and big windows.  It doesn’t feel overlooked though as it is tucked away in the back of the Polygon near Clapham Common. The bucket seats are comfy and unlike many other restaurants, it is possible to have a quiet conversation. Continue reading

A short bus ride away No 2 – Hood (Streatham)

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address: 67 Streatham Hill, London SW2 4TX

Tel: 0.0 36013320

website: hoodrestaurants.com

email: info@hoodrestaurants.com

Trying to find somewhere for a leisurely meal in Brixton is more difficult now so we set off with guests for a second visit to Hood – a crowdsourced restaurant in Streatham that we really enjoyed the first time (see here). We were not disappointed – it was as friendly as the first time. We won’t spend time describing the décor as it hasn’t changed. But we were glad to see that even on a Wednesday night they were full, so definitely book ahead. Continue reading

Prince of Wales – POW – Brunch in Brixton

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address: 467- 469 Brixton Rd, London SW9 8HH

telephone: 020 7095 1978

Website https://pow-london.com/the-prince-of-wales/

We decided to go out again for Sunday brunch in Brixton. We’ve already been to Ekcovision – see here – and intend to make this a series. This time we ended up at POW, which offers a Sunday Roast, as well as Brunch all day. Some of us can remember even before KFC, when it was the Prince of Wales and a proper boozer and it’s still pretty spacious inside. There are tables, high and low for large and small parties. There were five of us on this occasion and we squeezed into a long table – in the USA it would be a “booth”. It was a squeeze as the table just fitted the space. The menu is provided by chefs from the Duck Egg Café so it is eggs everything – hen or duck – on muffins or with a large mixed grill. Continue reading

Pedler – a 5 minute bus ride away

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Address:: 58 Peckham Rye, Peckham, London SE15 4JR

Telephone:  020 30305015

website: http://www.pedlerpeckhamrye.com/

We thought we would travel further afield and go to the nearest hipster area – upcoming Peckham. This restaurant styles itself as “Your vibrant neighbourhood eatery, set up by a team that live in and love Peckham.” How could we resist, especially for a special treat on a weekday to entertain a guest. The smallish restaurant has a bar and mostly 4 person tables so they have two sittings between 7.45 and 9.00 and allow two hours. We hit the 7.30 one. Our four person team were shown to a table in the space near the toilets (worth a visit for a look at the décor) but really close to the kitchen where all the action is.

Dinner comes as a series of plates one at a time so you share, making it all very communal with lots of time for conversation. The plates are different in size but you can only tell that by the price. Dishes and influences come from all over the world, although the ingredients are sourced relatively locally.

We chose a series of smaller and larger dishes including: chilli & bean arancini, patatas bravas, tuna, mac and cheese, veal belly, fried chicken, beef suet pudding with a side order of beef dripping chips.

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The service is slow, but deliberately so, and it does allow you to savour each dish, But with four of us it might have been easier if we had two dishes at any one time. The starving fell on each dish as it arrived and it was a bit of a scrum at the beginning (you can tell by the pictures which were often taken as an afterthought). We really loved the beef suet pudding and the mac and cheese (we ordered two!). The chicken was very spicy so might have had a bit of a warning, but despite that the plate was wiped clean. Sometimes there was a detail or two we would have changed (e.g. crispier fat on the veal) but we thought everything was high quality and interesting. We failed to take a picture of that day’s menu but you can see by the pictures that all looks pretty.

We also ordered puddings – some to share including chocolate mousse and  treacle sponge. We enjoyed them but occasionally there was a slightly bum note as one of our company lost a tooth in the very sticky caramel but we don’t blame that on the restaurant.

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We washed the food down with cocktails and some wine. The bill (including £33.50 of alcohol) came to £113 for four people which we thought a bargain. When we have another set of guests in the neighbourhood we will definitely go again. An exciting place that is pushing boundaries and definitely somewhere to celebrate. Our loyalty to Brixton is undiminished but, if pressed, it does seem that currently the food scene in Peckham is a bit more interesting.

 

 

 

CLOSED – Ekcovision

ecko01

address: 15 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, SW9 8HX

telephone: 020 7274 7182

website: http://ekcovision.com/

OPENING HOURS

Monday               5.30 pm       Midnight

Tuesday               5.30 pm       Midnight

Wednesday        5.30 pm       Midnight

Thursday             11 am       3 am

Friday                   11 am       3 am

Saturday              11 am        3 am

Sunday                 11 am       Midnight

Last entrance: 2 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

This is one of the newer bar/cafés to open in Brixton and is probably the bravest, as it is in one of the arches planned for closure and rehabilitation by Network Rail. It describes itself as having “an intimate 1920’s speakeasy setting” and is aimed mainly at the evening crowd. But we went to have brunch late one Sunday morning, when is more in the café mode. Although not mentioned on its website, this runs from Thursday to Sunday from about 11.30am to 5.00pm. You can eat anywhere in Ekcovision – there a tables and chairs; booths with bench seats; and, for those who want a quiet time, the upstairs “Den” is really out of the way.

We sat downstairs, next to the door onto Brixton Station Road. Unfortunately the doors never closed properly and were after left ajar. But, given that it was a cold morning, this helped in a way as it created a community with other brunchers, as we all took turns to close them.

ecko04They have a short menu of pastries (croissants and the like), a full meat or veggie breakfast, soup of the day and various styles for poached eggs (Benedict, Florentine, etc.). We chose a veggie breakfast and an eggs Florentine, washed down with an Americano and pot of English Breakfast tea. It was all very relaxing and we didn’t have to wait long until all the dishes and drinks arrived, although then my dish had to be returned as it was the Benedict not the Florentine. The veggie breakfast was straight-forward, with the potatoes bought-in, most-likely frozen. But the eggs were fresh and it was tasty and filling.

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I assumed that they would just re-plate the poached eggs for my mistaken dish but they actually cooked a new batch. This took a little longer but we were in no hurry and when they arrived they were still piping hot but not overcooked. You can’t say much about an English muffin, so I won’t, but the Hollandaise sauce was great. I suspect that it probably wasn’t really “Homemade”, as described on the menu, but it did have lots of lemon and, when served, the dish had been seasoned with black pepper. So there is attention to detail.

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The whole bill was £18.50 for the two of us. We couldn’t fault it and we would probably return.