Tuesday 6 March 2012

Mike + Ollie at The Deptford Project

I first sampled Mike + Ollie's food at Brockley Market. A flatbread stuffed with mackerel was devoured within minutes, and the textures and flavours impressed me so much that afterwards I immediately booked into one of their dinners. Ours was hosted at The Deptford Project, a cafe in a train carriage, and we turned up on the night to find a long trestle table set out for our dinner.

A guitarist strummed away in the corner, creating a nice atmosphere though I was glad not to have been sat next to him as conversation with my friend would have been somewhat shouted. As we sipped on pear and elderflower cocktails, wooden planks were set between us and massive beetroot and quinces decorated the table. A square of bread topped with teeth-shatteringly crisp pork belly and a smear of quince whetted our appetites, while another square of bread was adorned with a smear of labneh (strained yoghurt) and a sweet, intensely earthy roasted beetroot on top.

Planks removed, they were re-presented to us a short while later. A dish I recognised from my flatbread wrap, the smoky mackerel and pickled rhubarb, again on top of a slice of bread, was a hit. Huge briny capers added a savoury edge. Pickled rhubarb is my new favourite thing.

Bone marrow with roasted garlic and a shallot, parsley and caper salad was served with bread fried in beef dripping. Michael cried 'this is the last of the bread, I promise!' but that home made stuff was so good I didn't mind. I slathered the wobbly marrow on and topped it with the refreshing salad, garlic cloves staining my breath. My jeans grew tight. That burgery lunch at Meat Liquor was catching up with me.

We had a break and a cute apple stuffed with sorbet followed. The iced essence of apple gave me a second wind, and rather than fearful of the next dish and my straining waistband, I looked forward to it. A plate of vibrant greens was garnished with ruby pink slices of pigeon and dressed with a rosehip molasses. Mike+Ollie are really keen on foraging locally, and the rosehips were picked nearby. The greens were a mix of both herbs and salad leaves, making each mouthful different and complimenting the pigeon well.

Dessert came in the form of another stuffed fruit, this time Seville marmalade ice cream into an orange. The ice cream was studded with marmalade chunks and the creaminess tasted faintly of coconut. Accompanying this, we were given a glass of sloe gin - a bit rough, we were warned, as it hadn't reached full maturity yet. Sipping it made us wince.

We were fed hugely well for £25 a head. Though it wasn't the most refined meal I've had, I loved it for it's inventiveness; cooked well and lots of lovely pickled bits, crunchy nuts and flavours I'm not used to. The wooden planks were a nuisance to lift to and from the tables, but gosh they were pretty. You can find Mike+Ollie in Brockley and Deptford markets, but I strongly recommend you go for one of their dinners too.

Tickets and booking information HERE.


Helen said...

Such a fun evening! Pickled rhubarb = my new favourite thing too. The amount of food for £25 was staggering really - the menu was very cleverly designed. We did well to pace ourselves on the bread!

Miss Whiplash said...

How do you think you pickle rhubarb? Just in vinegar and sugar?
It sounds delicious and I still have a LOT of rhubarb...

Gin and Crumpets said...

Looks great – have immediately put myself on the email list for April. And like Miss Whiplash, am now thinking about pickling rhubarb.

Sharmila said...

I really liked it when I went last week. Think the pork belly was my favourite (ah, we were given seconds too - more fool the silly people who didn't turn up), but the mackerel was fabulous too.

Hollow Legs said...

Helen - Yessss. We were so stuffed!

Miss Whiplash - I imagine so, it was quite lightly picked though so go easy on it?

Gin & C - Hurray!

Sharmila - We also had people that didn't turn up and we got extras - might go some way to explaining why we were so very, very stuffed.