A short bus ride away – Zumbura

Address: 36a Old Town, Clapham, London SW4 0LB

Website: http://zumbura.com/

Phone: 0207 720 7902

Opening times:
Sunday to Wednesday  –  6:00-10:00pm
Thursday to Saturday  – 6:00-10:30pm

This is a highly recommended, well staffed Indian restaurant in Clapham which is an offshoot of Mum’s Kitchen. It is a small restaurant that is popular with bar and table service – book at busy times. Tables are small and for two or four, with a couple that can accommodate a larger group.

They claim to offer “light, fresh and healthy meals”, with no butter or cream, so there are several dishes described as vegan. The menu is split into small plates (pakora, chaat, samosa and masala calamari), braised and stewed dishes (curry, dopiaza, masala, muttar – all with meat or fish), grills, vegetables (bindi, daal, aubergine etc cooked in interesting ways) and bread and rice.

Brightly coloured and delightful pickles and mild tomato dip arrive on the table with some assorted poppadoms to start us off while considering the menu.zumbura06We chose Railway Lamb curry, which had lamb that was really well cooked and layers of flavour in the sauce. Ghuggni chickpeas (black chickpeas braised in onion and mango powder), which was not as spiced or flavoursome as we hoped, compared to the khatte baigan-aubergine (baby aubergines spiced with tamarind and cumin), which was a definite hit. Both these small plates were vegan dishes. Then we ordered the chicken biryani (braised basmati rice cooked with chicken morsels in aromatic spices and rose water). This was a disappointment – the chicken was dry and the rose flavour a bit overpowering. To finish off the main dishes we had a chapatti which lived up to its description of wholemeal unleavened bread by being pretty heavy.

To finish we ordered a p[istachio kulfi which comes on a stick and a gajjar ka halwa. The kulfi was great, the warm halwa an interesting very sweet dish that tasted of very little.

So the whole meal was a good experience. A short menu, interesting sounding sets of ingredients, but it fell a little below our expectations. We will certainly return, but we will try a few other places before returning. The bill was £59.06 including service with one strawberry cocktail and an alcoholic lime soda (at £7.00).

Dumplings and Bao (formerly On Cafe)

Address: 31 Clapham Park Road, London, SW4 7EE

For reservations: Bookatable

Telephone: +44 20 3759 0162

Opening times:
Monday: 17:00 – 21:00
Tuesday – Wednesday:: 12:00 – 21:00
Thursday: 12:00 – 21:30
Friday – Saturday: 12:00 – 22:00

This restaurant in Clapham (not Brixton but near enough) has recently changed its name, so it now makes clear what they actually serve – dim sum. Also known for its macarrons. It is small, with about 15 covers at the front and a table for a party of 18 in the back.

Their menu states that they do not use MSG, but have different spices to make their baos and fried and steamed dumplings taste good. We thought the addition of chilli or the soya sauce might be the boost they need. Much of their custom seems to come from takeaways but we sat inside for a early Sunday lunch. 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

London French Dip – Market Stall – No longer attends the market

With absolutely no idea what a French Dip consisted of, but hearing plenty of buzz about it on Twitter we headed down to the Station Road Saturday market yesterday to find out for ourselves. The stall was about half way down the road; just by Hive Bar and had a couple of chairs dotted around the stall meaning you can enjoy your sandwich in the buzzy atmosphere of the market.

Apparently originating from restaurants in Los Angeles, a French Dip consists of a roast beef sandwich with the bread dipped in gravy or jus. Served alongside a gherkin this is pretty simple, but incredibly delicious. The beef was thinly cut, with just the right amount of fat and perfectly cooked – meaning there is no tug of war with the beef in your sandwich when you bite into it. The gherkin on the side was very appreciated, especially when I made the mistake of putting far too much mustard on my sandwich, causing my nose to feel like it might explode. Tip: less is more!  However I do think they may have creating a new French Dip enthusiast!

Another plus was that all the ingredients appear to be local with M Moens and Son in Clapham providing the beef and Kindred Bakery in Herne Hill providing the baguettes, which had a lovely shiny glaze to them. I was informed that the next one will be on the 19th May so would really recommend making a visit to the stall that weekend.

Congrats London French Dip we think you make a brilliant addition to the interesting and diverse foods available in Brixton!