Shrub and Shutter


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

Using Xmas leftovers

Chez EatinBrixton

It has past twelfth night and what is noticeable this year, whether because of over-catering or undereating, is the quantity of leftovers. So this post is some ideas of what you can do with them. We try our best not to throw food away – it is a waste of money, time and the environment, but not all of our cooking was trouble free.

  1. Goose (from Jones the butcher) and Ham (Tesco’s)

One of the high spots of my Christmas is the left overs from Christmas dinner reheated on at least two days following the feast. That’s because by the time we sit down for dinner on Christmas Day I am usually too full of appetizers and champagne to fully enjoy the food. When it comes to reheating, the roast potatoes do need to go back in oven but the rest (including the gravy in a separate pot) are fine when simply heated in the microwave. This year was no exception, with plenty of goose and ham leftovers, even after we had sandwiches for eight on Boxing day.

There was even enough meat remaining and, more importantly, both ham and goose stock to make a cassoulet, using the haricot beans from the cupboard. In the end it was not a great success as it was left in the oven too long and, as a result, ended up being much too dry. Next time we will follow Felicity Cloake’s recipe in the Guardian more closely, substituting the leftovers for her ingredients where appropriate. A little went a long way and there’s still some lurking in the back of the fridge.

The copious goose fat is rendered down and put into clean dry jars. It keeps a long time in the fridge but this year we plan to give some away. This is mainly to avoid a repetition of the annual ritual of throwing away the remainder of last year’s goose fat, having completely over-estimated the need for roast potatoes during the course of the year.

  1. Panettone (Lidl)

These large bread/cakes are pretty hard to eat your way through and we ended up with quite a lot leftover, even after using it in the Boxing Day trifle (too much like bread to be very successful but no-one minded as it was full of sherry). So next try is a marmalade bread and butter pudding. Layer slices of Panettone with melted marmalade (home made) and custard (4 eggs and a pint of milk). It depends on the depth of the container but three layers is probably enough. The top is sprinkled with sugar and butter so it becomes crisp. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. When taking it out it should wobble in the middle but not be liquid. Serve with cream – double if you didn’t overeat at Christmas and single if you are worried about the waistline.

  1. The Gingerbread House (Tesco’s)

I used to make a gluten free gingerbread house each year, as one of our children suffers from an allergy. Although it taught my children several swear words, when hot syrup dropped onto my thumb, I had to accept that it was never actually eaten. It just sat on the table and collected dust until late January, when it was finally thrown away. So for the last few years I have bought a kit. I had hoped to ditch it this year, but one nostalgic daughter saw a kit going cheap on Christmas Eve when she braved the hell that is Tesco’s shortly before closing time; the saving grace was she put it together.

After removing the sweets, various Santas, snowmen and, unaccountably, Bambi, break up the biscuit and remove as much Royal icing as possible. Put all the biscuit into a food processor until you have crumbs. This then makes an excellent base for a cheese cake – just mix with butter and if there is enough royal icing, there’s no need to add any sugar. Press into the bottom of a cake tin and cover with cheesecake mix (either the cooked or chilled kind).

Alternatively, sprinkle the crumbs on clementine sorbet or, easier still, clementine granita (our favourite source for the fruit is Nour Cash & Carry). If you want a richer dessert put the biscuit crumbs on the bottom and cover with liqueur or brandy before putting the sorbet on top (this is inspired by a dish on the revamped menu from Shrub and Shutter).



Address: 10 Market Row, Brixton SW9 8LD

Phone: 07713 322507



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


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.

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Christmas in Brixton: Food Banks


Christmas for many is about sitting and watching the new Dr Who, after stuffing themselves with a roast and wondering whether it’s time to tackle the Chocolate Orange. But some are not so lucky, so we want to offer the chance for everyone to give, as well as receive.

We should, of course, be thinking about our neighbours all year. But at what is a time of gluttony as well as a family celebration (at least it is in our house), we ought to give some thought to whether any of our neighbours have problems feeding themselves and their family.

The report out this week by the Joseph Rowntree Trust (link here) makes it clear that there has been an increase in the number of people who are in poverty. In other words, they don’t have enough money to achieve what is generally considered to be a minimum acceptable standard of living. We can campaign about the unfairness of Universal Credit for the whole year, but we are not going to do much about the economy in the next few weeks. However, we can do our bit to make it a bit better for those at the receiving end of Government policies and one of those ways is to support a local food bank.

We advise giving to our local Food Banks, which offer cheap or free food for families in need. At Christmas, with the longer school holidays, Food Banks need even more than during the rest of the year.

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Christmas in Brixton: StreetSmart

brixtongroupmarket shot

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.

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Iz Sakeya Sushi


address: Pop Brixton far aisle ground floor

website: in course of preparation

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.img_0115img_0116img_0117

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.