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

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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.

Blue Jay at Cornercopia

65 Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour lane,London, SW9 8PS

Twitter  @bluejaybrixton

Instagram  bluejaybrixton

email bluejaybrixton@gmail.com

http://brixtoncornercopia.co.uk/

Open:

Thursday to Sunday evenings – 6.00pm to 10.00 pm

Saturday & Sunday brunch – 11.00 am to 3.00 pm

Cornercopia hosts various pop-up restaurateurs. Currently it is Blue Jay and they have not yet decided when this particular arrangement will end. Cornercopia is described in a number of previous posts (see here, here, here and here), so this time we will concentrate on the food.

This is an easy restaurant menu – three starters, three mains, one dessert and a cheese option. When we visited in July (and they plan to change them monthly) the starters were chicken BLT, mackerel with pickled gooseberries and samphire) and a veggie option. We chose the mackerel between us and it was really interesting and (as we were not starving) plenty for the two of us. Saying it was interesting might suggest that we couldn’t decide whether we liked it or not but we definitely did and would have happily had a larger portion for a main.bj04

The same themes are also in the list of main – fish (sea bass, barley couscous tabouleh and braised fennel),  meat (chilli rubbed braised pork shoulder, runner beans, shallot and hazelnut) and a veggie option (salt baked jersey royals, grilled courgette and sheep’s cheese). We chose the fish and the pork.

The fish came whole on a plate not really big enough for dissection. They use the same enamel bowls they sell in their shop. I was given a separate dish to put the bones in but it still meant being very careful, warily chewing every bit slowly – probably good for the digestion but not for the enjoyment of the dish. The tabouleh/couscous was very good and a shame it wasn’t part of the veggie dish. The fennel was soft enough but gave a bit of texture too.bj06

The roast pork was not too much to frighten off diners worrying about their waistline and while the sauce was tasty and the hazelnuts provided some texture, the flavours were muted and the runner beans were undercooked.

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The only offer of dessert was a peach with some “crumb” type thing so we stopped there and visited the Lab-G gelateria for pudding.

We drank two glasses of rosé and a beer. The meal was tasty and interesting, but it came to a staggering £55.00 with service. Each of the mains was £12.00 and the starters began at £7.50. We are not averse to spending hard cash (they only take cash) for good quality food but we thought this was overpriced.

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

This is a the second post in our new venture of writing about where to go for that special celebration, a birthday, anniversary or even wedding breakfast. But we still want to make it local and most are only a 20 minute walk from the middle of Brixton, or only a short bus ride if you have already done your 10,000 steps that day.

Hood is a family run restaurant that was crowd funded by family and friends. It serves modern British food from seasonal British ingredients. There is a provenance map on the wall of the restaurant so you can see where the food and drink comes from and it concentrates on very local. The clean and simple interior has matching tables and primary coloured chairs and we can attest to the comfort as we spent a good three hours sitting in them.

The short menu has 4 starters, 6 mains and three desserts and as we were a foursome we could try lots of them. Two of us chose kidneys and cauliflower with raisin and caper sauce which we decided were the best kidneys we had eaten ever. The others chose beetroot and horseradish cured salmon, buttermilk and rye and Crispy pork rillettes with apple, shallots and sage cream – both being delicious and, as you can see just by the description, really interesting with every bite and a pretty picture.

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For the main course we had pan fired sea bream with asparagus, roast rump of lamb with pea and wild garlic croquette and broad bean and feta relish and finally slow roast pork belly with bubble and squeak. We had an extra portion of new potatoes but they were not really needed. All were really good and every plate except mine was wiped clean. I liked every bite of the pork belly but the portion was just too much for my appetite.

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For dessert there was cheese but that seemed too hefty for any of us so we had the lemon posset with shortbread, a dark chocolate tart and strawberry snap, cackle and pop. The lemon possets were small delicate cream pots with a thin layer of strongly flavoured lemon jelly on top – just enough. The dark chocolate tart was slim and shiny and strong and slightly bitter – just as it should be. The strawberries were sandwiched between layers of Rice Krispies which were on top of marshmallow so very sweet and gooey.

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We started the meal with beer and wine. The list of beers is long with bottles from the Brixton Brewery, Partizan, Gypsy Hill Brewery and others. They come with their strength advertised which is important as some are 7.1%. We had a porter which tasted  – just like its description – of caramel, and a Pale Ale which was a good foil – a light and slightly bitter long drink. We interspersed our drinking with tap water  which was freely offered. We also had a French Malbec which was described as  having “a warming & smooth richness and well balanced” which it definitely was. With dessert there was a decaf Americano and a  glass of dessert wine.

We really enjoyed this meal. There was of course the good company but we could talk without having to shout and the waiting staff were helpful and didn’t push us out too quickly. The bill was celebration size (£180) but it was for four people with three courses, wine and sundries. We thought it was better than anything currently in Brixton and we would most certainly return for another celebration meal.

Butcher Shops in Brixton

Jones the Butcher,
Address: 1 Dulwich Rd, London SE24 0NT
020 7274 4629
http://jonesthebutcher.wordpress.com/
Opening Hours: Mon: 05:00 – 12:30; Tue: 05:00 – 12:30 Wed: 05:00 – 12:30 Thu: 05:00 – 13:00; Fri: 05:00 – 13:00; Sat: 09:00 – 13:00

Dombey & Son,
19 Market Row, Brixton, London, SW9 8LB
020 7274 1035
Opening Hours:: Tue: 07:30 – 17:30; Wed: 07:30 – 15:30; Thu: 07:30 – 17:30; Fri: 07:30 – 17:45; Sat: 06:30 – 17:45

Michael’s Meat Market
49 Atlantic Rd London SW9 8JL
020 7737 1069

There’s no shortage of places to buy meat in Brixton and we cannot claim to have tried them all. We are also not great meat eaters, at least when eating at home. Nevertheless, it’s time we had a look at butchers in our series of reports on Brixton food shops. The trouble is that while there are lots of shops selling meat, there are not that many I consider proper butchers. Also when you see a secondhand supermarket trolley full of carcasses being wheeled down Atlantic Road it does make you think of being a vegetarian. But there are places I have found that can be relied upon to provide value for money. Continue reading

The Pickled Fork at Cornercopia

Address: 2nd Avenue Brixton Village

http://www.thepickledfork.com/

for all bookings please email alex@thepickledfork.com

We don’t eat out much at the beginning of the week but this was too tempting. A pop-up in Cornercopia and their USP is rissoles. The Pickled Fork settles every Tuesday in the same spot and provides a simple array of salad and rissoles with real ale. Rissoles according to Wikipedia are  small croquettes enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried. They are filled with sweet or savoury ingredients, most often minced meat or fish and is served as an entrée, main course, dessert or side dish. They are served all over the world and now in Brixton Village. At 7.00pm the restaurant is not full so make your way further back in the Village to get a seat fast and taste these little beauties. Continue reading

A tale of two cheese sandwiches

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I have my lunch in Brixton two or more times a week and have done for more than 20 years. So I welcome the increasing number of good places to eat. But this change is not universally popular and I was sorry to see, via Urban 75, that someone using the hashtag #BrixtonMum on Twitter, was attacking one of the most recent openings, Brindisa – see post #596 here, down towards the bottom of the page.

The complaint, essentially, is that £5 is too much to pay for cheese on toast and so Brindisa, as a hated symbol of gentrification, should go back to Soho. Someone else then tweeted to point out that you can get a cheese and pickle toastie for £1.50 at Papa’s Café. My view is that there’s probably room for both but, on behalf of our loyal followers, I felt duty bound to check them out.

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Brixton Village Grill’d

Brixton Village Grilladdress: 2nd Avenue 43-44 Brixton Market; Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8PR

telephone: 07894353561

http://www.brixtonvillagegrill.co.uk

This is a fusion of Portuguese and English cuisine – so says the trendy website which also has funky music. We decided to update our previous review as it has been no little time since we visited.  It was a Thursday evening and we were worried that we wouldn’t find a table because Brixton Village is often packed. We also wanted to have a more leisurely meal than is usual in most of the restaurants. But at 6.30 it was absolutely fine. We were the second customers and in February we chose an inside table. The décor is the ubiquitous slightly wobbly tables and wooden chairs. The inside décor is described on our previous post but we think you need to see it all for yourself. The decor is plain (I’ve given up on the word minimalist) apart from the two extra large black chandeliers.

The service was friendly and helpful. They seem to share responsibilities, so it meant that we had several people moving plates and checking up on how we were. It is good to have someone taking notice, although a few less checks might be better. But it does mean that it is easy to attract someone’s attention – not that we needed anyone. They do want to turn the tables over quickly and it did get packed later, so consider a two hour slot as your limit.

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