Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Brixton Village: Casa Sibilla

I was saying before how difficult it has been in the past to go out for decent pasta.  Now two places open practically next door to each other in Brixton Village market.  Casa Sibilla does a lot more than just pasta though.  It's got a daily changing lunch menu and is open for dinner on days when the market is open late.  Lovely salads and more substantial dishes are all available in a lovely setting.  They even do cooking lessons.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Brixton Village: Etta's Seafood Kitchen

It can be disappointing when you read about how friendly and welcoming a cook/owner of a restaurant is and then go there and find that they're not talking to you anymore than a chef does anywhere else.  Do they not like me you think, who are these stupid newspaper reviewers who everyone talks to anyway - mutter, mutter.  Thankfully I cannot imagine this being a problem at Etta's.  Talking is what they do (that and cooking, obvously).  They are welcoming and chatty and extremely friendly the whole time.  Their caribean influenced food's pretty sharp too.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Curry Ono

I've been writing a lot about the newly(ish) rejuvenated Brixton Village lately, but it would be a mistake to ignore the good new places that have opened up in next door Market Row.  Curry Ono is one of these, and its my favourite so far.  It specialises in Japanese curries and they do them very well indeed.  In fact they do them so well that I'd say they're the best I've tried so far anywhere in London.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Brixton Village: Federation Coffee

Coffee houses used to be places where rebellions were planned and where deals were struck.  In the 18th century they were the central trading houses for shares and bonds, a fairly new idea at the time.  Lloyd's Bank has its roots in this world, having itself started as a coffee house.  However, coffee in the twentieth century was very different.  Seen as a slightly strange drink that had a peculiar popularity on the continent, good coffee was hard to find.  Then came the chains.  Still not so good, but better.  After a while they upped their game and good coffee came to be expected.  No we are in the midst of a new wave of smaller artisan cafe's that focus on high quality in preparation and detail in sourcing.  At least half of these places are run by antipodians.  Enter - 'the flat white'.

Istanbul Restaurants:Akdeniz Kokorec

Again I'd like to thank the brilliant Istanbul Eats for turning me onto this place.

I like to take every opportunity to champion offal.  I think eating the whole animal (in one sitting if I can) is crucial in limiting waste and the damage caused by mass farming.  I also think it's more respectful.  Imagine my joy then when I found out about kokorec an enormous sausage stuffed with lamb fat and sweetbreads inside a thick outer casing of wound sheep's intestines.  Imagine my even greater joy when this - admittedly slightly unappetising sounding dish - turned out to be absolutely delicious.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Istanbul Restaurants: Pera Sisore

Meze, fish and grilled meat are well known staples of Turkish food.  The last of those is probably the best represented over here in London, but you can find the others as well.  What you don't really see (and if anyone can correct me, that would be great news) is the Black Sea coast cooking they specialise in at Pera Siosore.  This has been described, by the fantastic Istanbul Eats where I found this recommendation, as similar to the soul food of the Southern USA.  This means deep rich flavours made from simple ingredients, great stocks, stewed greens and that kind of thing.  This is definitely what I remember about Sisore, that and the best Pide I've ever had.  Now this is something that you can get good versions of in London, but I've never had one like this.

Brixton Village: Bellantoni's

Market Row in Brixton was the lunchtime place to be for a while.  This was down to Franco Manca, which got rave reviews from basically everyone.  It even made it into newspapers that only use the words South London if they sit next to 'postcode wars'.  Then came Rosie's (of the Spooning with Rosie cookbook) and Wild Caper.  What makes it nice is that it sits next to the South American butchers and West Indian and African grocers that made the place interesting for a lot of foodies anyway.  Now it's Brixton Village's turn.  This is a very similar covered market that sits just opposite Market Row.  A series of rebuilds and an influx of new restaurants, cafes and delis again sit next to places that have been there for years.  I want to take longer to explore it, but to kick it off I thought I'd talk about a small pasta place in there called Bellantoni's.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Restaurant Review: Delhi Grill

Things have all been a little hectic over the last few weeks, having been away and now started a new job.  But, I will be back to regular posting from now on.  Sadly I am going to kick start this next round with a negative review, something I really don't like doing, mainly because I like to enjoy all my meals.  I was enticed to try the Delhi Grill by a bit of Twitter/blog hype and the fact that at the time I went there was a goat curry on special.  Mainly the food was fine but no more.