A short bus ride away – Peckham Refreshment Rooms

address: 12–16 Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL

Telephone: 020 8022 2852


Booking via OpenTable

We had been thinking of going to this restaurant for some time, as it has been highly rated by friends. They are open all day for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, so we dragged ourselves out of our comfort zone and visited with friends on a Saturday evening. They only do a couple of sittings, so we agreed on a 9.00 pm booking. We were on time but the table wasn’t clear, so we had free, and creative cocktails from the bar. Mine was a sort of Kir Royale but with Cherry liqueur but the others were also colourful and refreshing, even the non-alcoholic salted grapefruit.I have been a bit tardy about writing this up and we have lost the bill, so I’m sorry to say that some details are sketchy. There is a short menu and you cannot always depend on what it says, as they run out and substitute ingredients too. With no photos to jog my memory I can’t remember what we had as first courses. But I do recall that we were delighted and all plates were empty.

For the main course we had sea bass, with samphire and clams, which was made even more delicious with roasted lemon (I am a great fan). We also ordered aubergine parmigiana, which was not a great success, as it was more like ratatouille – perfectly tasty but not what was expected.
Finally, there was a bavette steak with hassleback potatoes. The steak was pink but the potatoes weren’t finely cut enough and so were not as crisp as we hoped for. We ordered a side of broccoli with garlic and chilli oil  (substitute for the Kale, which I would never have ordered).

Finally we ordered one, and only one, orange marmalade posset which was smooth and just the right balance of sweet and bitterness of Seville oranges.

We washed it all down with wine – a lot of it and all white.

The bill was large but not as large when you remove the wine. The mains are under £20, starters £6 or 7 and desserts about a fiver. The staff were very helpful and we encourage you to turn up early and have a cocktail.


Cabana01address: Bon Marche Centre, 201 – 207 Ferndale Rd, London SW9 8BQ

Phone:020 7326 5760

email: brixton@cabana-brasil.com

website: http://cabana-brasil.com/restaurants/brixton/

The idea was that we wouldn’t review chain restaurants but as they creep into Brixton and as it was a Monday, which reduces the choice of where to go, we broke our own rules. We were glad we did as Cabana was a pleasant surprise. It describes itself as a Brasilian Barbecue and if you want meat they have a lot of it. This is a huge (for Brixton) restaurant with loads of room and comfortable seats. There is a capirinha bar on the floor below but we chose to eat.

We were in a threesome, which meant we could try things across the menu. There are small things to eat while you wait for your food and from that list we chose Guaca-Molho – guacamole with lots of corn chips. The chips were endless and were not too salty and didn’t taste of sprayed on flavours, so we enjoyed them a lot. But we could have chosen fiery pork scratchings, parmesan with honey or chargrilled pitta. We skipped the starters section (still thinking about weight reduction following Christmas) and went straight to the mains. Think meat – chicken, pork, beef or lamb in all forms – burgers, stews, steaks, on or off the bone.

We chose spicy Malagueta Chicken, Feijoada (beef, pork and bean stew) and a Steak and Palmito (palm hearts). Sides of rice and peas, sweet potato chips and “homeslaw” were a good portion size. We enjoyed them all, especially the rice which was really well flavoured. Seasoning was personalised to each of our tastes and if you want it hotter there was a choice of bottled sauces on the table to increase the heat. We were delighted with the chicken and the steak, although we have had better feijoada. It probably needed a bit more time in the microwave, as it was a bit chilly in parts. The chicken was served in an authentic fashion, from the spit on which they had been barbecued.

We washed this all down with water and a couple of two-for-one capirinhas that are served until 7:00 pm. They weren’t the best capirinhas we’ve had, not at all like those we had in Sao Paulo, but not bad at half price.

We want to thank the enthusiastic and helpful staff who not only were thoughtful about the service but wrapped up the leftovers for a lovely lunch the next day. The whole thing came to £61.25. Apologies for the lack of photographs but the lighting was subtle, so they didn’t come out too well.

Gremio de Brixton

gremio04 address: underneath St. Matthews Church, Brixton Hill SW2 1JF

telephone: 020 7924 0660


It’s more than a year and a half since we first reviewed Gremio (see here) but little has changed, although the lighting is better and the number of customers has swelled. It lies underneath St Matthews Church with the entrance down some steps on the northern/town centre side. The crypt is a restaurant and bar with tables outside overlooking the Peace Garden – even in the depths of a winter’s night there were a few hardy souls or perhaps committed smokers sitting there. It is a bit like a cut down version of the Mezquita in Cordoba. Lots of pillars obscuring the view of the other diners, making the spaces a bit more intimate (so might be good for Valentines). The bar is dark and looks smoky, although, of course, it isn’t, but the spaces are again small and dark. The restaurant tables have overhead lights, making it possible to read the menu.

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Brixton Village Grill’d

Brixton Village Grilladdress: 2nd Avenue 43-44 Brixton Market; Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8PR

telephone: 07894353561


This is a fusion of Portuguese and English cuisine – so says the trendy website which also has funky music. We decided to update our previous review as it has been no little time since we visited.  It was a Thursday evening and we were worried that we wouldn’t find a table because Brixton Village is often packed. We also wanted to have a more leisurely meal than is usual in most of the restaurants. But at 6.30 it was absolutely fine. We were the second customers and in February we chose an inside table. The décor is the ubiquitous slightly wobbly tables and wooden chairs. The inside décor is described on our previous post but we think you need to see it all for yourself. The decor is plain (I’ve given up on the word minimalist) apart from the two extra large black chandeliers.

The service was friendly and helpful. They seem to share responsibilities, so it meant that we had several people moving plates and checking up on how we were. It is good to have someone taking notice, although a few less checks might be better. But it does mean that it is easy to attract someone’s attention – not that we needed anyone. They do want to turn the tables over quickly and it did get packed later, so consider a two hour slot as your limit.

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The Lido Café

The Lido Café

Address: Dulwich Road, Brockwell Lido SE24 0PA

Phone: 0207 737 8183

Email: info@thelidocafe.co.uk


Having wanted to visit this place for some time, we took a whim and headed down on a Wednesday evening to check the place out. As a child I frequented Brockwell Park and the Lido many times, although back then the food was usually a cheap and cheerful burger, chips and a coke. Therefore the idea of going back there to fill out stomachs has never been particularly appealing. However after hearing so many good things about this place we knew we had to check it out.

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