Sunday 19 December 2010

Franklins, East Dulwich

The first time I went to Franklins in East Dulwich we got so shit-faced I couldn't remember what we'd eaten. It was a rainy Friday night, and a good catch up was what we were there for. A month or so later, we found ourselves back for lunch on a snowy Saturday. A huge party of people were dining in the restaurant, so we were sat in the bar area and urged to get our orders in sharpish. 6 natives were strangely small, but nonetheless deliciously sweet.

My starter of tongue with chicory and capers was well balanced; salty hits from the capers seasoned the bitter chicory well. The meat was bouncy but not tough and I really enjoyed the dish. While the plate looked a little bare the portion size was judged well.

Whole plaice with brown shrimp and courgettes was one of the most expensive mains, at £17.50. The fish was cooked perfectly, flesh sliding off the bone with ease. The brown shrimps and courgette was cooked in garlicky butter, the vegetable still retaining some texture. I loved this dish; so simple and so pleasing. A side of chips were seasoned generously with salt and pepper and were gloriously crunchy on the outside and fluffy within. The only dud note came with the brussels tops. They could have done with a bit more cooking and should have been bathed in butter but they were undressed. When we pointed this out to our waitress she was surprised, and removed the dish from our bill.

Desserts came in the form of blancmange with prunes stewed in Armagnac and Yorkshire curd and rum raisin tart. The boozy prunes were the perfect hit of sweetness with the wibbly wobbly white dome, while the tart had a pleasing cheesiness to it. The rum was virtually undetectable but the raspberry sauce gave it a tart freshness. Our leisurely lunch was drawing to an end and while the restaurant was busy, we felt a little neglected by the wait staff. Nevertheless, it was a lovely meal and Franklins is an ideal place to while away an afternoon.


157 Lordship Lane
East Dulwich
SE22 8HX

Tel: 020 8299 9598

Franklins on Urbanspoon


Helen said...

Great meal. Shame about that big party as it always affects service as a whole. Anyway, we certainly, ahem, enjoyed ourselves this time too. The blancmange is back!! Wibble wibble.

Naomi Knill said...

Franklins hasn't won me over on my last few visits. The food OK but nothing exceptional or worthy of the high end prices. Such a shame because my first couple of meals there were delicious... It's a nice little space, cosy on a wintery day but the service can be a tad dour. Sounds like a return visit should be on the cards though based on your review!

Sharmila said...

I used to go to Franklins quite a lot, but haven't for a couple of years, primarily because I think it is just a couple of pounds too much per course for the quality of food and the location, and I felt the quality of service declined over that time. It's a shame, as when it is full, the ground floor has a really nice buzz to it (less so downstairs).

Chris Pople said...

I really enjoyed it too, but then I am from Battersea and my standards are lower. If I had this place on my doorstep I'd probably go every day.

Hollow Legs said...

Helen - WIBBLE INDEED! I remember turning my nose up at the blancmange - what a mistake.

GG - It is rather expensive, you're right; but my main really was quite special.

Sharmila - The service was a bit rubbish - people standing around chatting instead of taking our dessert order, but then we just didn't leave much of a tip for them. A small flaw I'd say.

Chris - Well you probably could, given their menu changes so much ;)

Yuki - Japanese Cookery Class said...


Glad to find this review as I am really local to Franklins; a little way up the hill at Crystal Palace. I have been thinking about trying it out the oysters look great, will see what the service is like. Any more local tips?


Hollow Legs said...

Hi Yuki,

I really like The Begging Bowl in Peckham Rye; I haven't really been anywhere else in East Dulwich, not for dinner at least. I hear there's a new cafe called Duck Egg Cafe on North Cross Road which is apparently good for breakfasts - oh, and I like Ambriento, the taco van on North Cross Road market on Saturdays.