Friday 6 May 2011

No. 67 - Neighbourhood Dining

I recently received an email from Nick, a charming and softly spoken head of the kitchen at No. 67, a cafe housed in the South London Gallery on the Peckham - Camberwell borders. With the frank subject of 'shameless self-promotion', I was drawn to it. Usually a lunching or brunching spot, No. 67 was flinging its doors open to embrace the evening crowd. Would we like to visit? Of course. So off I went with a friend who had previously raved about their brunches.

Walking inside was like being in someone's house. Some seriously cool minimalist light fixtures dangled from the ceiling and flickery candles lent the room atmosphere. On a short but succinct menu that is changed daily, you can tell that seasonality is at the heart of the kitchen. After nibbling on a bowl of olives and dipping some lovely, charred bread in olive oil and balsamic, I opted for purple sprouting broccoli with anchovy and flaked almonds. The anchovy element had been worked into a thick sort of mayonnaise, lubricating the al dente broccoli stems well. A solid dish in its simplicity, it was exactly as I'd hoped.

I stayed fishy for my main, opting for a whole grilled mackerel with rocket salad, rhubarb and cream. Mackerel and rhubarb are classic pairings; the tartness of the fruit gets right through to the oily flesh of the mackerel, while the cream cossetted the palate. I thought the rhubarb needed a touch of sweetness - not much, just enough to take the edge off. The skin of the fish took on the flavour of charring, while the meat flaked away nicely.

I turned rather green with jealousy when my companion's roasted pork belly with fennel and orange turned up. A slab of porky goodness, made appropriate for Spring with the tangy salad. Having tried a gobful only made the food envy worse. A side dish of Jersey royals bathed in olive oil were devoured.

Replete, we could hardly ignore the dessert menu when it had things like orange polenta cake with caramelised oranges on it. It sounds positively healthy (ahem). The cake was gorgeously light, but erred on the bitter side. The dollop of cream counteracted this, but once it ran out I was left wanting for a bit of sweetness. The pear and raspberry tart, however, was a thing of great beauty.

A mere 5 mins on the bus from my house and averaging around £25 per head (I estimate; dinner was on Nick) for a 3 course dinner, No. 67 will get a repeat visitor out of me. It's nothing fancy, but it's cosy and comfortable; the dishes are inventive, done well and with great ingredients.

No. 67

65 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UH

Tel: 020 7252 7649

Dinner isn't served on Sundays or Mondays - check website for opening hours.

More photos HERE.

1 comment:

Eliza J said...

this looks amazing! Always good to find a great spot close to home!