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Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

Oklava, Shoreditch

August 15, 2016
Oklava, Shoreditch

While Istanbul and in fact, Turkey in general, are massively struggling at the moment, Turkish food in London seems to be flourishing.

The very popular Babaji Pide opened in 2015 (another one of Alan Yau’s venture), and then Le Bab (serving gourmet kebabs – what’s not to like) opened earlier this year to rave reviews.

But perhaps the most talked about opening has to be Oklava (modern Turkish food), by Selim Kiazin – a young, hungry and exceptionally talented Turkish chef.  She wowed throughout her stint at Carousel, and was so loved that she set up on her own in a quiet Shoreditch side street.

Oklava, Shoreditch

The result is rather satisfactory.  It is a lovely little restaurant, with a busy open kitchen (and a kitchen counter to watch the chefs at work), large windows which open widely and a few seats outside too.

We arrived early and grabbed some of the outside seats to enjoy the warm Friday evening (and later moved inside to their kitchen counter).  I tried their sumac and pomegranate Martini – am always a fan of a vodka cocktail –  especially if they keep it quite simple.  Sumac might not be your cocktail ingredient of choice, but it’s actually quite sweet and worked really well.  We then moved onto the wine – all Turkish – which originally we (mainly Rob) were sceptical about.  Until we tried the wine the lovely waitress recommended, and that shut us up.

Oklava, Shoreditch

The menu is quite succinct, with everything sounding as mouth-watering as the dishes looked as they were prepared in front of us.  A must try is of course their ‘pide’ (flat bread), prepared in their special wood fire.  We went for the ‘traditional’ lamb one (Lahmacun), but their potato, leek, mozzarella, tulum cheese and fresh truffle one looked incredible too.

Oklava, Shoreditch

Our culinary journey here started with fresh Baharat bread and date butter – superb.  They were followed by whipped feta and pumpkin crostinis which were slightly disappointing, not taste-wise, but size-wise (and at £2.50 a pop, not worth it in my opinion). The courgette, feta and mint fritters came next, and while they also looked quite small, they were wonderfully filling and one of my favourite bites of the night.

Oklava, Shoreditch

After the pide we were suddenly feeling quite full, but then came Rob’s beef short rib which was melt in the mouth delicious, followed by my pomegranate glazed lamb breast with yoghurt. Both excellent.

Oklava, Shoreditch

In a city where restaurants are competing for attention, to properly ‘stand out’, Oklava does.  The price can add up (as tends to be the case with sharing plates) but it is totally worth it.

Oklava

74 Luke St,

London EC2A 4PY

Photo credit: Oklava (and the Instagram ones are mine)

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, London

Oriole, Farringdon

August 14, 2016
Oriole, Farringdon

Unfortunately for us, we chose possibly one of the warmest, sunniest Friday early evenings for a drink at Oriole.  While everyone was basking in the London sun on heaving terraces, we were under ground (under Smithfield), very much out of the sunshine, sipping cocktails.  This is clearly a night time haunt, preferably in the winter, when you don’t feel guilty for being inside.  And while we were quietly wishing we were outside, it didn’t take away from how stunning this bar really is.

Oriole, FarringdonOriole, Farringdon

I totally adored the interiors, all green leather banquettes, leafy wall paper, with a beautiful bar.  It screams exotic, sexy, alluring.  It is the ultimate date place, and if you like jazz, then all the better but they have live music performances seven nights a week.  It is the sister property of the award-winning Nightjar bar (which is always fully booked), and it’s gone for a similar vibe.  Booking a table is highly recommended (unless it’s a 30 degree Friday evening..).

Oriole, FarringdonOriole, Farringdon

The cocktails are sublime, even if the list is somewhat overwhelming.  Divided into Old World, New World and The Orient, these are not your run of the mill cocktails.  They are concocted with thought, and care, and the result is wonderful.   I opted for the Karachi Sour (Cana Brava Rum, sweet ume paste, yellow courgette, lemon and fresh sea herbs), leaning, as always, towards a fresh and citrusy drink.  It was also served in the prettiest glass (shaped as a fish).  Rob had an ‘Anchor Steam’ beer from California, which he really enjoyed.

Oriole, FarringdonOriole, Farringdon

They also had a very good food menu, and we really enjoyed an Asian version of padron peppers, and the most moorish black truffle croquettes.

We left after a drink, in search of sunnier places, however I loved this place and will definitely return when it’s raining outside.

Oriole

East Poultry Avenue,

London Central Markets,

London, EC1A 9LH

Photo credit: Oriole

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

Oldroyd, Islington

August 13, 2016
Oldroyd, Islington

I used to really like Polpo.  Until it became a chain restaurant.  Dinner there, while the food was still good, became a less special occasion (the one in Notting Hill gate is large and impersonal, contrasting massively to the tiny original in Soho).  So it’s perhaps no wonder that then chef-director of the Polpo group Tom Oldroyd packed his bags last year and opened his own restaurant on Upper Street.

Oldroyd, IslingtonOldroyd, Islington

Oldroyd has buckets of what the new Polpos now sadly lack: charm.  It’s much ‘cuter’ than Polpo (I promise the comparisons stop now), and its bright and airy disposition lends well to a long and boozy Saturday lunch.  Which is what we did, after accompanying my sister to try on some wedding dresses down the road.  Summer dinners could work too, as they have a few tables outside on the street, so you can enjoy lively Angel vibes while having dinner.

Oldroyd, Islington

Tom Oldroyd clearly knows what he’s doing.  The food is excellent.  Small sharing plates, seasonal fresh ingredients, interesting flavours.  We had huge fresh prawns, crisp light salads and phenomenal ‘vegetarian’ meatballs.  Pudding wasn’t quite so light, with warm rhubarb almond tart and tiramisu, where plates were licked unabashedly.

Oldroyd, Islington

While the place is tiny, this is no bad thing (if you book well in advance).  I love small restaurants.  They offer something more intimate, and also give you a sense of smugness for having managed to get a table.

So full marks for Tom, who’s given me yet another reason to return to Angel.

Oldroyd

344 Upper St,

London N1 0PD

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, Eat, London

Foley’s, Fitzrovia

August 13, 2016
Foleys, FItzrovia

Palomar is still up there with one of my all-time favourite London restaurants (and I also really loved its new sister restaurant the Barbary).  It’s not surprising therefore that Palomar’s Sous Chef Mitz Vora has opened a restaurant which blew me away, rivalling Palomar in standard and flavours.

I might be a little biased as I rocked up to the restaurant on a high (and a little merry) from a long afternoon at the wonderful Pergola on the Roof, in a very good mood. This was definitely helped by cocktails from the ‘outside’ bar at Foley’s, which I loved!  A further 50% off the food because of the soft launch meant that we all got very over-excited and ordered everything on the menu.  I think the only thing we missed off was a random salad.

Foleys, FItzrovia

Everything else we devoured completely.  Our favourites?  The ceviche endive tacos with tuna and octopus (heaven), the aubergine with pomegranate, quinoa and feta, the lamb and the beef.  But to be honest, I’d happily have all of it again.

Foleys, FItzroviaFoleys, FItzrovia

We finished it off with a few Espresso Martini cocktails (and again, moved outside for that – one has to take advantage of a warm summer’s evening).  These are not cheap, but are most definitely a way to emerge from any food coma.

A special mention should also go to the décor and the feel of the place.  It’s one of those restaurants with such a fun, upbeat vibe.  Unpretentious, down to earth, cool but not achingly (painfully) trendy.  The open plan kitchen is always welcome (next time I’ll sit at the kitchen counter, but a table is better for groups).   And it’s in Fitzrovia, which is just ideal in terms of location, not heaving with tourists, and a short walk into Soho if you’re looking for more after dinner party time.

Foleys, FItzrovia

Foley’s

23 Foley St,

London W1W 6DU

Photo credit: Foley’s

 

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

Spring, London

July 20, 2016
Spring, London

Spring is the prettiest restaurant I have been to in London.  Full stop.  The name seems apt – the interiors are inviting, light, enticing; a little like the season.  Feminine but not girlie.  You arrive with high expectations, and these rise the minute you walk in.  You can’t have bad food in a restaurant like this.

Arriving with any expectation at all is always dangerous, but I’d read so much about Australian born chef Skye Gyngell – from her success at Petersham Nurseries (Richmond) to rave reviews of her new venture, that I was curious and a little excited.

Spring, London

Her success with Spring is understandable.  It’s not just the beautiful dining room which makes the experience here so elegant and luxurious.  The staff are charming, knowledgeable and professional.  From the sommelier to the waitress to the front of house staff; we were looked after beautifully.

And then the food.  This is not your usual ‘let’s grab a casual bite to eat’ restaurant.  This is for special occasions, unless you’re smart and go for the lunch or pre-theatre set menu (two courses £27.50, three courses £31.50).  We did this, and it’s completely worth it.  The food is refined, light (barring the heavenly bread which does make a regular appearance) and skilfully cooked.  It’s not overcomplicated: good produce, cooked very well.  From the goats curd (almost whipped, it was so light and moorish) and sourdough bread to start, to the bavette steak with hollandaise sauce with deep fried courgette (again, the batter was light and crispy, not stodgy and soggy) – stunning.

Spring, London

Spring, London

To finish we had macchiatos as had a flight to catch to Rome, as couldn’t handle the journey in a complete food coma.  Spring really is a delightful restaurant, the perfect lunch or dinner date place.   Or should you be near the Strand, or visiting the Courtauld Gallery, then you can even just pop in for a coffee or drink at their leafy, more laid back, but equally pretty Salon (open 12pm – 11pm daily, Saturday until 5pm).  Highly recommended.

Spring, London

Spring, London

Spring

Somerset House New Wing,

Lancaster Pl,

London WC2R 1LA

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, Eat, London

Restaurant Ours, South Kensington

July 10, 2016
Restaurant Ours, South Kensington

There are certain restaurants which live up to the hype, and some which don’t.  To be fair, Restaurant Ours hasn’t had much time to get hyped up (it’s fairly new) – but with a celebrity launch party and being the sister restaurant to Michelin star (and very much liked) Restaurant Story, let’s just say I had high expectations for Tom Sellers’ new venture.

It started well.  I tried booking a table for a Friday night on a Wednesday, was promptly told they were full (fair enough) and was told I would be put on a waiting list.  Then Friday came and Brexit happened (that’s not the good part) and I thought I’d call again to see if there had been any cancellations.  And luck had it, there had been a cancellation, and the table was mine at 7:30pm.

I thought I’d take my Dad to treat him.  But then walked in and realised pretty quickly this was not really his ‘scene’.  There’s no denying the place looks good – it’s taken over the impressive space which used to be the Pan-Asian restaurant Collection – and so everything, from the Japanese style walk way to the olive trees mid-restaurant, to the rest of the décor, is rather beautiful.  But then you get the super loud music, which makes it feel like you’re in some sort of ‘lounge bar’ (to be fair, there is a cocktail area upstairs to which the music is more suited), rather than an exclusive restaurant.  I didn’t have the guts to ask them to turn it down, I knew what the response would be.

Restaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South Kensington

Don’t get me wrong, I think this would be the ideal place for a weekend cocktail.  It’s fun and it’s great for people watching.  David Schwimmer came and sat next to us (I clarify: not with us), and it seems to be popular with girls who don’t really feel like wearing any clothes at all (much to my father’s amazement).  The clientele are a complete mixture of local rahs, Euro trash, semi celebs and high end escort girls.  Entertaining, there’s no denying that.

I also couldn’t really fault the food.  It was good, but not outstanding.  The (purple) vichy carrots were the only real let down.  The scallop (£12) and tuna for starters were delicious, but the portions so minute it was gone in seconds.  I think they had literally put one scallop on my plate and sliced it as thinly as possible to make it look like an actual portion.  My salmon for mains was good, as was my father’s lamb.  I was most excited about ‘Our’ chips, with pecorino and fois gras.  They were most definitely edible, but, like the rest of the menu, not memorable.

Restaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South KensingtonRestaurant Ours, South Kensington

So now you’re probably wondering what’s so wrong with this place?  Sadly, the most important thing about a restaurant: the service.  I noticed the minute we arrived how many staff they had, and at first I was impressed.  Then I quickly noticed how inefficient and incompetent the staff actually were (and their uniforms are exceptionally bad too). When you’re at a good restaurant you usually have one or two people serving your table.  Here we had – no joke, I counted – 8 people.  They were all perfectly sweet and well-meaning but were also pretty useless.  One couldn’t open a bottle of wine, so my father did it.  The other didn’t know what a ‘carpaccio’ was.  Another didn’t speak any English at all really.  There was no communication or coordination between the staff.  It was a big mess.

Such a shame.  Perhaps if they sorted this the place would be worth the (extremely expensive) bill.  But, apart from perhaps a fun cocktail on a Friday night, I won’t be running back here any time soon.

Restaurant Ours

264 Brompton Road

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

The Barbary, Soho

June 20, 2016
The Barbary, Soho

I haven’t had been out for dinner in London for a while, and so perhaps that’s why I may have appreciated the Barbary even more than usual.

The place is tiny but so atmospheric. There are no tables, just one large kitchen bar, with 24 seats around it. The focal point is clearly the kitchen, where chefs cheerfully work away at creating beautiful, mostly grilled, dishes from Jerusalem and the Barbary Coast. I’d never heard of the Barbary coast (also known as the Berber coast), but it’s the coast off Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya. So expect a mixture of flavours from the Middle East and North Africa.

I was expecting a long wait, as this is no normal restaurant opening. The Barbary is the little brother of one of my all time favourite London restaurants: The Palomar.  But we only waited about 15 minutes, with a glass of rouge from the Languedoc (they have a range of European wines on offer) and a delicious lamb/pork mince in a grilled pitta with humous.

The Barbary, Soho

After 10 minutes the waitress suddenly bounded up to us with a bottle and three shot glasses.  ‘Sorry for the wait, guys’, she said, ‘this should ease the pain’.  And poured us all, her included, a shot of limoncello-esque liqueur.  Later we observed the whole restaurant, chefs included, do another shot.  It clearly contributed to the lively vibe.

Like The Palomar, the menu offers a range of small sharing plates.  We opted for the Naan e Barbari (mouth wateringly delicious),  a wonderful smokey Baba Ganoush, the Pata Negra Neck (such succulent meat), the grilled prawns (huge and juicy, but sadly just two of them), the Cauliflower Jaffa style (possibly my favourite dish) and the Kholrabi, Rocket and Peas, with feta sumac vinaigrette (super fresh and light).  Last we ordered the Jerusalem Bagel which was also excellent, and good to soak up all the juices and sauces (though only order if you love sesame seeds).

The Barbary, SohoThe Barbary, Soho
The price easily adds up, and it’s hard not to be greedy.  But the food is very filling, so be warned – there is no need to order more than 8 dishes.

This truly is the perfect Thursday night place, it gets you in the mood for the weekend, makes you forget work stress and more than satisfies your hunger (and tastebuds).  Go now before the word properly spreads.

The Barbary

16 Neal’s Yard

London WC2H 9DP

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, London

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

April 21, 2016
The Victorian Bath House, City of London

It’s not often that you find a hidden cocktail bar in a churchyard, let alone in the City of London.  But London is full of surprises, as is this new venue from Camm & Hoopers (known for Tanner & Co, and various other event spaces in the City).  If I hadn’t googled images, I would never have found this wonderful little bar.

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

Why did I like it?  Firstly, you can book a table.  Ideal.  There’s nothing worse than being turned away from a bar on a Friday night.  It is therefore the perfect date place, and great to combine with dinner at the new Pitt Cue around the corner, or ‘posh fish & chips’ at Des McDonald’s The Fish & Chip shop, or, if you get a table, fantastic Thai food at the newly opened Som Saa.  It’s all happening in and around the City these day.

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

Secondly, the interiors are quite spectacular, and unexpected.  It feels like you’ve walked into Alhambra (a slightly kitsch version perhaps!).  It’s dark and hushed, but not in a sterile way.  There’s a lot to look at – both decor and people wise.  The cocktail menu is quite unusual, with a number of quite over-complicated sounding cocktails, and lots of different versions of G&Ts.  I had the lavender and rosemary one which was delicious.

The Victorian Bath House, City of London

They also have a lovely terrace, which will be ideal for post work drinks in the summer.  I love the contrast between the Grade II listed building, and the modern, tall glass skyscrapers it is surrounded by.   You can even rent out the whole space for what would certainly be a dinner to remember.

The Victorian Bath House

7 – 8 Bishopsgate

London EC2M 3TJ

Photo credit: The Victorian Bath House

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

Padella, Borough Market

April 18, 2016
Padella, Borough Market

Pasta.  You just can’t go wrong.  Especially when it’s home (and lovingly) made by Tim and Jordan, from Trullo (in Highbury) fame.  They had always wanted to open a pasta bar, and have now finally done so, right by London Bridge, on the edge of Borough Market.

Padella, Borough Market

Their soft launch weekend was a few weeks ago, so hundreds queued for hours to enjoy 50% off their pasta dishes.  But the prices are so low there’s no need to feel like you missed out.  I can’t think of a restaurant that I’ve been to in years that is as affordable (and quick) as Padella is.   Pasta dishes range from a fiver to just under a tenner, which is the Pappardelle with 8-hour Dexter beef shin ragu.  The antipasti is all under £5, and if you’re starving and craving carbs I’d highly recommend their sourdough bread with delicious olive oil (you can even upgrade to the really fancy stuff).  And perhaps some of their burrata.

Padella, Borough Market

My friend Amber and I were both instantly drawn to the Tagliatelle with Italian fennel sausage ragu, but decided to share two pasta dishes so we could try more of the menu.  So we also went for the Ravioli of ricotta with sage butter.  Both were wonderful and completely moorish.  Licking the plate was sadly not an option but had I been in the safe confines of my own kitchen I would not have held back.

Padella, Borough MarketPadella, Borough MarketPadella, Borough Market

The wine menu is short and succinct.  The merlot a mere £3 a glass (but they are small).  Pudding is 100% worth going for, their flourless chocolate cake light and fluffy and a real winner.

Padella, Borough Market

The place itself seems tiny when you walk in – there is a kitchen bar and a few tables.  But downstairs offers a much larger space (but it’s still quite squashed).  I would probably recommend sitting at the kitchen bar upstairs as it’s fun watching the chefs work their magic. The interiors are cute, but downstairs could probably do with a little more atmosphere.

Padella is the perfect quick lunch or dinner option, affordable and filling, with unique sauces and produce.  I think it will remain as popular as it was during their soft launch, and not just because of their pricing.

Padella

6 Southwark Street
London
SE1 1TQ

Photo credit food: me

Photo credit interiors: Steve Joyce

 

Blog, Date Spot, Eat, Healthy, London

Rök, Shoreditch

February 13, 2016
Rok, Shoreditch

I was asked a number of times which restaurant I had chosen for my birthday dinner last week.  ‘Rök’, I said.  ‘Oh’, replied the curious ones, ‘Great choice.  I do love Roka’.  On each occasion I then explained this was Rok without the a, and in fact very different to the popular, award-winning Japanese restaurant.  ‘It’s a smokehouse.  You know, Scandi food’.

Rok, Shoreditch

If Rok is not well known among Londoners, it should be.  Foodies will undoubtedly have either heard of it, or eaten there.  It’s been applauded by critics (Grace Dent named it one of her 2015 favourites) and you can book a table.  And finally – and this is an advantage perhaps purely for me – it’s not in Hackney or Dalston or Peckham, where for some reason every London restaurant on my list is located (a deterrent as it’s quicker for me to fly to Amsterdam than get home from there).

Shoreditch-based Rok is tiny.  That’s perhaps its one drawback; it’s a squeeze.  The tables are too small for the jars of pickles and plates of smoked and fermented food which come your way.  But it does make it cosy, and warm, and friendly.  All things which help on a cold February evening.  And the interiors are right up my street, stylish in a laid back way, lots of wood and simple white walls.

Rok, ShoreditchRok, Shoreditch

It’s not for everyone.  Fermented/pickled/smoked food never is. Though it does seem to be one of London’s latest crazes: fermented food is very on trend (kimchi is everywhere), plus it’s super healthy, which helps in the popularity stakes.  I know eating – let alone loving – meat is not so on trend these days.  But that was the reason I wanted to come here.  I heard the lamb and the beef – grilled using a charcoal-fuelled BBQ – was incredible.  And I was not disappointed.  Despite a horrid cold I could still appreciate the beautifully grilled lamb rump, and devour the fermented monksbeard (I promise you it tastes better than it sounds).   Plus, who knew pickled fennel (and cabbage) was so delicious?

Rok, ShoreditchRok, ShoreditchRok, Shoreditch

Sadly their chocolate cake had run out, or we would definitely have had that.  Rob worked his way through some British beers, and I enjoyed the house wine.  Their bar actually stays open until quite late.  But I guess I just have to remind myself this is East London, not Fulham.

Rok, Shoreditch

This is a place for those who want to try something different.  Vegetarians will enjoy the pickles, but it would be a shame to come here and not try their meat.  And their bone marrow mash.  Move aside Roka…

Rok

26 Curtain Road

Photo credit: Rok

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, London

The Vault, Soho – a hidden speakeasy-style bar

December 7, 2015
The Vault of Soho, Milroys

I used to struggle with bars in Soho, and would usually end up in China Town at places like the Experimental Cocktail Club or Opium.  Now, I suddenly feel like Soho has a whole array of watering holes, not just grimy pubs.  For those who have a sweet tooth you’ve got Basement Sate (serving cocktails and desert), if you like a themed bar you’ve got the newly opened Mr Fogg’s Tavern.  Those in favour of a Hazelnut Espresso Martini accompanied by crispy lamb testicles (!), then Les Couilles de Chien is for you.

But if you like a secret, hidden bar.  A bar behind a book case, in London’s oldest Whisky shop.  Then the Vault of Soho is your bar.  It’s a cosy, dark, intimate space and it’s in the perfect location on Greek Street.  Except tourists who don’t know about it won’t find it, which is definitely another plus.   The best bit is of course strolling into Milroy’s like you know where you’re going (but don’t) and then successfully finding ‘that’ bookcase at the back of the room.  There is something distinctly thrilling about pushing open the door and walking down the stairs into the Vault.

The Vault of Soho, Milroys

If there’s just two of you, sit by the bar.  The bar men are super friendly and can concoct whatever cocktail you fancy (I recommend their Espresso Martini).  Or if you just want a vodka, soda and lime, they’re more than happy to make that for you too.  If you get hungry then they have some bar snacks (the sharing platters are large and good value, but not particularly outstanding).   They also take table bookings if you’re in a larger group (definitely worth doing if so as there are few tables).

The Vault of Soho, Milroys

After drinks here head to Bo Drake, or 10 Greek Street for dinner (to name but a few fantastic restaurants a minute’s walk away).  And you can always pop back in afterwards.

The Vault of Soho

Milroy’s

3 Greek Street

 

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Blog, Date Spot, Eat, London

Perilla, East Dulwich – the pop-up to watch

December 7, 2015

I don’t usually go to pop-ups in London.  There are so many new restaurant openings that I’d rather go to a place that will be around for a while (one hopes) so that there’s a point in taking the time to write about it, without having to chuck it a month later.

There are however, always exceptions.  Perilla, which currently occupies Platform 1 on bustling East Dulwich Lordship Lane, is too good to miss.  Even if you hope that with their talent and generally truly excellent food they’ll find a permanent base soon.

Before I smother Perilla with compliments, a quick word about Platform 1, as I rather like the concept.   They call themselves a ‘permanent pop-up’, and it is quite literally a platform for new chefs and young culinary talent who can use the space for four months before passing the space on to the next.  As it’s a neighbourhood restaurant they’re keeping the front of house team constant, so you will recognise the staff (they’re very good).  It’s a nice touch.

But back to Perilla.  The guys behind it are super young.  23 (Ben) and 24 (Matt) years old to be precise.  Ben has been a chef at Noma (aka restaurant in Copenhagen voted the best restaurant in the world) and Claridges and Matt has managed both Polpo and Polpetto.  Not a bad team.

Perilla, Dulwich

They offer a five course tasting menu for £35 a head.  Or they have a (succinct) a la carte menu with too good to be true prices.  Bar snacks start at £1.50: the crisp chicken wings stuffed with mushrooms were possibly the best thing on the whole menu – and I don’t even like mushrooms.    Their flat bread with brown butter and rosemary was very moorish. Crisped Cavelo Nero was delicious too, their duck egg, mussels and parsley dish was wonderful, as was the (beautifully presented) scallop with horseradish, cucumber and radishes.

perilla, east Dulwichperilla, east Dulwich

Mains vary from £11 to £16 for the pork (which was especially popular with the boys).  The poached trout will set you back £13, and was the most delicately cooked fish with radish, yoghurt and sorrel.

perilla, east Dulwich

We drank a substantial amount of wine – they have a great, and quite original selection (everyone love their Pinot Noir), but the cocktails are also worth having (we had those instead of pudding).  We tried a selection of their home infused spirits, and I loved my cherry vodka with whiskey (yes, it was pretty punchy).

Perilla is around in Dulwich until the end of February.  And they take bookings.  So no excuses.

And if, like me, East Dulwich is very far away for you, then combine it with cocktails at Pedlar (blog to follow) or the Peckham Refreshment Rooms in Peckham Rye (around the corner) before or after, and you’ll have ticked at least two highly recommended foodie places in one go.

Perilla Dining

71 Lordship Lane

East Dulwich

Photo credit: mixture of Perilla’s own and mine

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