Christmas for us is mainly based around eating and drinking, be it at home or in and around Brixton – booze and food is a must. Therefore it’s great to hear that some local restaurants in the area have signed up to StreetSmart for this festive season, all to raise money for the wonderful local charity Brixton Soup Kitchen.
StreetSmart is an annual restaurant campaign that fundraises for homeless people by adding a voluntary £1 to the diners’ bill at the eateries who have signed up.
With Brixton, and the surrounding boroughs of Wandsworth, Lambeth and Croydon, recently ranking in the top twenty areas across the country with the highest rates of homelessness it is great to see the restaurant community coming together to highlight and raise money to combat this problem and improve the lives of our neighbours. It is estimated that over 300,000 people are currently homeless across the UK, with London boroughs at the forefront of this increase.
On a bleak Saturday we took the family to Pop Brixton to try some of their new offerings. Sakeya Sushi is definitely new, so with most of us being sushi fans, we settled on that. We do like Pop Brixton but most of the restaurants have only limited places to sit and on Saturday afternoon the place was heaving, with no space at either end in the general seating areas. Iz Sakeya has been creative and provided a ledge to balance the sushi on, but we had to stand, with the result that it was inevitably a quick meal.
The menu is short – Iz Sakeya specialises in two sakes (sparkling (£10) and premium (£45)) and mainly salmon and rice sushi. In fact they say they have head-to-tail salmon cuisine but they do say they can also cater for vegetarians. We had sushi (2), sashimi (2) and what was called a Poke Don salad, with more salmon. The salmon and avocado rolls were lovely. The three pieces of sashimi (a Ngiri set, with salmon, sea bass and tuna) were great, with two being delicately seared via a blow torch. The Poke Don salad had avocado, edamame, salmon, rocket and rice. The rice in all the dishes was really good with the right consistency; far from the mush you get from some of the chains.
We did enjoy what turned out to be a snack, although when one of our party saw the size of the plates, he chose instead to visit the burger bar next door for a rather good looking burger plus a portion of chips, which we all were happy to share. Those of us who had the sushi (without the sake) were pleased with the meal, although don’t go there hungry – just think of it as a potential first course. The bill came to £31 for 4 people, without any drinks.
Afterwards we went off to Parissi in Atlantic Road for coffee and cakes.
This is a review mainly about cocktails but it includes the food too. I have relied on my dinner companion and photographer to nudge my memory. I hadn’t seen this friend for a long time, so we decided to celebrate in the Fox Bar before eating. So, as we didn’t want to appear too eager we arrived at 5.10 (it opens at 5). We were the only customers but it was relaxed and the service was fantastic. We have covered here before (see here) so this is more of an update.
After ordering a couple of cocktails (Earl of Gimlet – Gin- Bergamot – Grapes), we were then offered free celebratory glass of Bollinger by one of the bar staff, as it was his birthday present. Then we had another couple of rounds of cocktails (Reynold Reserve – Tequila – Islay Whisky – Apricot and also a Red Hook – Rye Whisky – Bitter – Maraschino). We well and truly tested the drinks menu! – all drinks were great, not too sweet and very aromatic.
Feeling peckish and not being able to make too many choices, we ventured only a few feet away to the restaurant, where surprisingly we were not the only one’s present. We each ordered a Dirty Burger (succulent deep fried chicken in a burger bun) and both of us were converted – deep fried chicken is a real winner. The meat was succulent, not too much sauce and anyway you could ask for more of the hot stuff. We both decided the bun was superfluous but the crunchy greens were really enjoyable and made us feel healthier.
My memory from thereon is more than hazy, we moved onto another of our favourite bars in Brixton (Three Eight Four), where our taste in cocktails diverged with my friend opting for a dry Gin Martini and I went for a classic Vesper. The mixologist did us proud producing two very good classic cocktails, although by this time I’m not 100% sure either of us were in any fit state to call ourselves a connoisseur I think two Vespers/Martinis contributed to a staggering walk home and I have now downloaded the Drink Aware App and trying to stick to 14 units a week. A more purist lifestyle will also help with the credit card bill. The advice from two people who should have known better is, go to Chickenshop but a beer is all you will need for a good night out.
It’s that time again. We are now 7 years old (7?! jeeez). The landscape of food in Brixton has changed since our early beginnings and now it is one of the ultimate foodie destinations in London.
As is tradition, we will be conducting our annual restaurant of the year award. Previous winners include, Donostia Social Club, Nanban and Boqueria – so will any of the newcomers beat them to the crown this year?
This is the long list of places to choose from. The vote will be open for a week, when we will take the top 5 into the shortlist vote. We have only included places we have reviewed, restaurants you can sit down at and none of the ‘bus ride away’ or the pop-ups. Apologies in advance if we have forgotten your fave.
We often buy bread from Wild Caper but rarely visit for a meal. So, surprisingly, despite being one of earliest manifestations of the change in the food available in Brixton, it’s never got a review. But we were hungry, after getting caught up in the Sing Out Streatham choir on Electric Avenue – yes a local choir singing Bowie’s Starman. It was Sunday and everywhere was gearing up for lunch and we wanted breakfast – Wild Caper was still serving and almost empty.
There are various choices all involving eggs and some involving bacon. We chose the Wild Caper special and bacon and eggs on toast. When they arrived the special – despite being a quid cheaper – filled the plate. I really enjoyed this meal and ate all on the plate. Bacon on smaller plate (see photo) was also very good.
The bill including two coffees came to £17.50. And then, although what we had already eaten quite enough, greed got the better of us and we finished off with a iced doughnut from Dum Dum Donutterie located temptingly opposite in Market Row.