RESTAURANT REVIEW: THE PATCH, EAST DULWICH

I’ve found a new happy place: The Patch in East Dulwich. What was once The Mag at the top of Lordship Lane has been transformed by Arnold Reicher and his team into something that sits between a gastropub and a fine dining restaurant. Together with Franklins, The Palmerston and ToastEd, it forms an allegiance of superb dining experiences on Lordship Lane

The ambience is spot on here. That low, lovely candlelight that makes everybody look slightly ethereal (or is that the wine?), that bustling vibe that’s the product of a busy open kitchen and a set of chatty diners, and swift, affable staff keeping everything moving. And the food is really impressive.

I started with a crab broth flavoured with ginger, lemongrass and chilli. Fragrant and filling, it’s right up there with the lobster bisque I once had at the Lobster Pot in Kennington, which has remained at the top of my favourite dishes list for years. By happy accident it matched the glass of Le Rosé du Lyonnat, Bordeaux Rosé – very pale pink, dry and delicate – pretty much perfectly.

I’d originally ordered a glass of the Rioja Blanco, but sadly they were out. The waiter swiftly delivered samples of similar wines though, the rosé and a Muscadet, from a well-curated wine list of French and Italian wines. My friend ordered the confit of chicken and wild mushroom terrine with summer pea purée that, served on a square of black slate with an edible flower looked far too pretty eat, but was far too delicious not to.

The Cornish black bream with mussels, clams & squid ink linguine is full on, filling and fantastic

The Cornish black bream with mussels, clams & squid ink linguine is fantastic

I followed up with Cornish black bream with mussels and clams on a bed of squid ink linguine – full on, filling and fantastic – while he had seared Hereford beef, served medium rare, with a truffle and chive new potato finished with Doombar. Superb.

In an effort not to be hugely greedy, we shared an out-of-this-world pear frangipan tart with sea-salt caramel ice cream for dessert. On the whole, dinner at The Patch is an experience I’d very much like to repeat, and with a fortnightly-changing menu, you can do so regularly while continuing to discover delicious new dishes.

Delicious: the pear frangipan tart with sea-salt caramel ice cream

Delicious: the pear frangipan tart with sea-salt caramel ice cream

Cost…
Two courses for two around £55

Good for…
A relaxed treat. The food is West End; the vibe East Dulwich

What to eat…
The fish is excellent here

What to know…
Friday and Saturday evenings are busy, so do book

 

211 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22 9HA; 020 8299 2068; patchindulwich.co.uk