Courtesan update

address: 69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU

telephone: 0208 127 8677

http://www.thecourtesan.co.uk/

This is a little gem, filling a place in Brixton for a classier Chinese restaurant and there is lots more to read about from us here (click here for our previous post). There is now an extension  downstairs which feels like you are entering an opium den with precipitous stairs and a dark interior. But this downstairs room is surprisingly spacious and would be great for an intimate party.

Our round table for 5 was set up in a corner and other guests were around much larger table for about 12 to 18.

Dim Sum is a sort of Chinese tapas – small plates or steamer baskets of highly flavoured food to share. There are lots to choose from – steamed, fried, baked or grilled and covered in pastry, cotton wool, see through or flaky. Courtesan has enhanced the Chinese dishes with some Brixton flavours like jerk chicken sticky rice in a lotus leaf or the jerk ribs.

This  short post is just to say the food is even better. The fried squid was wonderful, jerk ribs soft and spicy and the grilled sea bass a brilliant way to start the meal. All our dishes were a delight. We had only a few as we had eaten our first course at home in case it was impossible to have a conversation – but it wasn’t. Despite the noise we contributed to the mayhem with political arguments and disagreements about student loans. The bill was about £21.00 per person including cocktails but those who are hungrier should expect to pay more as we had 8 dishes. Continue reading

Happy Dumplings

happy_dumpling02

address: 30 Market Row  Brixton, SW9 8LD

This is an unprepossessing restaurant in Market Row which competes with Prima Donna and Provincial on the opposite side of the alleyway. It goes in for small plastic tablecloth coated tables inside or outside the restaurant with plastic chairs (outside) or plastic stools (inside) and a variety of leftover silver decorations from the Chinese New Year or Xmas. It started off in the early days of the transformation of Brixton market as just a small stall offering takeaways, but it has grown over the years, taking over adjoining units. Between us we’ve eaten there a few times but have never felt it lived up to it’s promise – Brixton could do with a really good mainstream Chinese restaurant. But now it does look like a proper sit down restaurant and often seems to be crowded, so we decided we had to give it another go. In the event, we don’t think the other restaurants have much to worry about in terms of competition.

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Courtesan Dim Sum

Courtesan Dim Sum

69-73 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU

0208 127 8677

This is a little gem, filling a place in Brixton for a classier Chinese restaurant. The unassuming entrance leads into a bar area filled with golden birdcages and low lights. The restaurant decor is not the eclectic throw it together kind – it is simple with matching tables and comfortable chairs and benches. Lighting is Chinese style but not on the bling side – no red lanterns. It is an area of calm – until the tables begin to be filled.

This is a Dim Sum restaurant with a Brixton flare. We have the usual steamed Dim Sum (prawn, chicken and roast pork) but there is the oddball of jerk chicken in rice wrapped in a palm leaf. This looked relatively unassuming when it arrived – just green on the outside and white on the inside. But it was really delicious – full of ginger with not a hint of chilli but a big dose that grew in warmth but didn’t overpower the delicate rice and the really well cooked chicken.

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Gyoza

GyozaAddress: 426 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LF

Telephone: 020 7274 1492

This place has been a restaurant since we can remember. It used to be an Eel and Pie shop which had an advert which said “Why stand outside and be miserable when you can come inside and be fed up” and we  feel that it  is still true now. This Japanese (hence the name – fried or steamed dumping) and Chinese restaurant is not a gourmet delight but it is a homely place for a cheap, fast, good meal. The staff are warm and friendly and the food comes in record time so even if you thought there was no time to spare before your film begins at the Ritzy you still get the chance to see the adverts if you eat here.

We usually have the hot and salty squid, prawn gyoza,  fried seaweed and a quarter of duck to start and then a free for all for the main courses. Thick noodles, thin noodles, hot soups and your choice of meat fish or tofu – however, be warned that the main dishes all extremely generous. This is a Japanese style restaurant so chopsticks are assumed but you can ask for a fork if the seaweed gets a bit risky for your neighbours.

The alcohol is good beer – Asahi is our usual choice. They have others but why roam…