It’s not all about central London. Neighbourhood restaurants are on the up, and this year has already seen three exciting new restaurant openings in south east London
1 Sparrow, Lewisham
Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar are to open their first restaurant, Sparrow, in Lewisham on 28 March, and it’s all about seasonal food with a cosmopolitan feel. The husband and wife chef team first met whilst working at St John’s in Smithfields and the new opening will be a homage to the food they love. While the focus will be on British meat and vegetables and European cooking techniques, dishes will borrow flavours from around the world. The diverse menu will reflect Terry’s background as chef at the likes of BAO, Merchant’s Tavern, and St John’s in London, plus Yohini’s experiences from Pollen Street Social, The Square and her Sri Lankan heritage.
‘We chose the name Sparrow because it reflects the kind of food that we make, like a sparrow we aren’t specific to a place or country. One week we might put a classic Italian dish on the menu and other times we’ll make a crunchy Malay-style salad with whatever is in season,’ says Yohini.
Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner, Sparrow will also open up its doors for brunch at the weekends. Opening 28 March with soft launch with 50% off food from 21-26 March.
2 Rennell Street, Lewisham SE13 7HD; sparrowlondon.co.uk
2 La Bonne Bouffe, East Dulwich
La Bonne Bouffe, which translates as ‘good grub’, opened in mid-February. The new restaurant and bar serves up traditional French cuisine on North Cross Road, and to add to the air of authenticity, the menu is entirely en Francais, complemented with French wines and classic cocktails. Expect Escargots de Bourgogne, Moules Marinières, Steak Haché Frites with pepper sauce Choucroute made with pork belly, sausage and ham hock. Don’t forget your French-English dictionary…
49 North Cross Road, East Dulwich SE22 9ET; labonnebouffe.co.uk
3 Nape, Camberwell
Nape, which opened in early February, is a cured meat bar, bottle shop and deli on Camberwell Church Street. Run by the guys behind Borough Market’s much-loved charcuterie champions Cannon and Cannon, Nape serves generous plates of British cured meat and plenty of cheese (including some pretty good toasties), salads to refresh the palate, pickles, bread and artisan gelato. There’s also good-quality, good-value wine and beer on tap, plus a revolving selection of special-occasion bottles too. As Nape itself says, ‘it’s simple, unfussy, but satisfying stuff’. Open Tuesday to Friday 5pm-11pm; Saturday and Sunday 12noon-11pm.
21 Camberwell Church Street SE5 8TR; napelondon.com