Max and Taff’s at Brockwell Blend

Address: Brixton Blend, 19 Tulse Hill, Brixton, London SW2 2TH

Reservations: maxandtaffs@gmail.com

On Thursday and Friday (6.30 to 10.30 pm) but only until the end of July there’s this pop-up at Brixton blend. It describes itself as South London’s premier Vegan, Asian Fusian, Pasta Makers. Really hard to live up to but THEY DO. Interesting food, not expensive and great wine. Oops not much to write about now … but I’ll try. .

The menu is short, organised and requires little regret, as everyone can choose something. There are two starters – crunchy red cabbage slaw (with sesame and other seeds) and smacked cucumber (with chilli and other bits) – we chose both. They were definitely crunchy and the smacked cucumber is spicy but not blowing your head off hot. They woke up our sleepy tastebuds.

Then there are two two types of pasta as mains. The first is Cavatelli (small pasta shells from eggless semolina dough) with two toppings: sweet tomato, Chinese cabbage and sichuan pepper or squash, miso and pumpkin seeds. The second pasta is hand pulled noodles with either kale, spring onion and chilli oil or, the less daring, aubergine, cherry tomato and basil.

Max, the chef, makes everything fresh, so the dishes come one by one. So you get to share. The first to arrive was the pulled noodle with aubergine followed by the cavatelli with tomato, cabbage and pepper. In this restaurant pasta is definitely al dente. But the aubergine was comforting and the cavatelli with pepper gave a punch, but not as big a one as the chilli oil on the table.

We finished it all off with a chocolate truffle each –  orange and chilli (there is a theme). Both were the size of rocks.

The wine list has two whites and one red – we had the red, Pinot Nero – the most expensive at £32.50 a bottle. The bill came to 52.50 including the wine and without a tip so you can see the teetotaller would get a bargain. Go now before they close down for the summer.

Serendip Supper Club by Pol Boy

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address: c/o Brixton Pound Cafe, 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU

website: https://polboy.co.uk/

email: thuli@polboy.co.uk

This was a Saturday night pop-up that took place at the Brixton Pound Cafe. Following a tip-off on Instagram, we booked on-line through the eatwith.com website, not really knowing what to expect.  What we got was food that’s described as being from Sri Lanka to the streets of London and is aimed being representative of all the different people who call Sri Lanka a home. It’s the brainchild of Thuli, who describes himself as a British-Sri Lankan. Continue reading

Oxalis at The Shrub and Shutter

Address: 336 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8QH.
Phone: 020 7326 0643
Websites:

Location: http://www.theshrubandshutter.com/

Food: http://www.oxalislondon.com/

Monday – closed
Tuesday 5pm – midnight
Wednesday 5pm – midnight
Thursday 5pm – midnight
Friday 5pm – 2am
Saturday 5pm – 2am
Sunday – closed

Our normal approach is to keep you in the dark about what we think about a restaurant but we are breaking with this practice to tell you that Oxalis (the current pop-up caterers at Shrub and Shutter) are brilliant and we are not usually so enthusiastic. It’s not complicated food but it is imaginative with a focus on flavour.

We have reviewed the cocktails before; see here, here and here. But on this hot and steamy night we went for wine and beer. There are lots of things to choose from but we cut out that difficulty by choosing one of the tasting menus. There are two – one veggie and one with meat. We had the meat option. On top of this we were given an “amuse bouche” (aren’t we posh) of a warm squid ink cracker with dark crab meat topped with a lardon. Now you get the way this is moving. It was delicious – so delicious that it was eaten before we could take a photo.

Then we moved on to the main menu – a delicious tomato salad with elderflower and mustard. I am soon going to run out of superlatives as it was the best thing to start us off – fresh with little bursts of mustard flavour. All four of us were delighted.

Fennel tortellini, poppy seeds and crayfish – even though these are tasting menu portions there was definitely enough crayfish. So just sublime with a crunch.

Pork, kohlrabi and sea buckthorn came next- sounds interesting and it was but also excellent.
The empty half of the plate left room for some vegetables; new potatoes and grilled gem lettuce as shown in the photographs, plus some mange-tout.
The simple dessert was cherries, cream and a garnish of the eponymous oxalis (Google just said it was an edible weed, which doesn’t sound very appealing, but most of you have probably heard of wood sorrel).
All this flavour and innovation for £30.00 a head. The bill of was larger, of course, as it included our wine and beer. As we were celebrating in company we didn’t stint ourselves, although I paid for it with a hangover. Oxalis popped up in Shrub and Shutter just a month ago. It will be around for another 4 or 5 months but don’t waste any time – go and eat as soon as you can.

Chick’n’Sours

Address: 395 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8LQ

Opening hours:
Wednesday–Friday evenings only;
Saturday–Sunday 12pm–late
(closed Monday–Tuesday)

Website: http://www.chicknsours.co.uk/

This is a pop-up restaurant in the premises of the recently closed Calcutta Street (we were sad to see this go). Chick and Sours is usually based in Haggerstown but their premises are being refurbished, so they are trying their hand in cosmopolitan Brixton. They have a limited menu of snacks, sandwiches and pickles to go with beer or a cocktail. Devoted to chicken – fried on a bun. Continue reading

Express Cafe/Lobstar pop-up

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15-17 Market Row, Brixton, London SW9 8LB
Telephone:
– Express Cafe 020 7978 8515
– Lobstar Pop-up 079 5843 8441
Opening times:
Express Cafe:
Monday – Saturday 7am–5pm (Wednesday early closing 3pm)
Sunday – Closed
Lobstar pop-up – only until the end of November:
Thursday – Saturday 7pm-11.30pm
Lobstar is a short run pop-up at the premises of the Express Cafe in Market Row. The Express Cafe is a greasy spoon, one of the few left in Brixton, that only opens during the day. So it occasionally rents itself out to pop-ups in the evening. We’ve been a couple of times, for vegan food – see here and for hotdogs – see here , and now, for three days a week in November, there’s a limited menu of lobsters and seafood.

Continue reading

Hot Diggity Dog! at Market House

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Address 443 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LN

Telephone: 020 7095 9443

http://www.market-house.co.uk

Market House is a pub with attitude and a pop-up history. This is where in 2014 Tim Anderson, the Masterchef champion, started with a ‘pop-up’ before opening Nanban and in 2015 Mama’s Jerk, now of Pop Brixton, had a try-out. The current offering is hot dogs  from an outfit with the slightly cringe-worthy name. For previous reviews from Market House see here and here

We chose one of the really busy nights – Saturday – but even then we did get a table for the two of us around 7:30. The pub was packed with a mixed stag/hen group and when they left there was relative peace. But if you want to have a romantic conversation then try another night or another place. You order at the bar and in all the confusion we ended up with three meals instead of two – and two was enough. So make sure the barman reviews your order before you finally pay.

Continue reading

Kricket

address: Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ

hello@kricket.co.uk

http://www.kricket.co.uk/

This is on the second floor of Pop Brixton – the arrangement of storage containers near the Recreation Centre. It is a narrow corridor of a restaurant with just one line of tables with bench seating inside for about 20 covers but there is a bit more space outside in clement weather. When we arrived there was a 40-50 minute wait unless you were prepared to sit outside – we were hungry enough to put up with the bracing evening air.

We have been here before and not much has changed so look here for a full account. You’ll also have to look there for some photographs – on this visit it was too dark to get any thing worth including. We chose four options from the short menu. We chose our favourite Bhel Puri which has raw mango; Samphire Pakoras; Torched mackerel. The Bhel Puri was fantastic and we polished this off really quickly. The idea of Samphire Pakoras is great but we had forgotten that in practice they tend to be a bit woody and, hence, they were not our favourite. Unfortunately, we had ordered two portions and we failed to work work our way through them both. On the other hand the torched mackerel was really tasty and we would definitely try it again.

We washed it all down with a fresh lime soda and a bottle of Curious Brew Lager. The total bill came to £31.35. We didn’t linger and will certainly look up our review next time we come, so we can avoid things that weren’t great. It’s a shame you can’t book but, nevertheless, we will return so that we make our way through the rest of the interesting menu of what is still some of the best food in Brixton.