The Great Escape is well and truly here. And if there’s one thing we’ve missed over lockdown is being taken care of in some of South East London’s best restaurants.
At the best of times, restaurants have tight margins. That’s why it’s extra important to help those hard-working restaurateurs, chefs, and waiters who have had their doors shut over the past year.
Restaurants are the backbone of the local community, so you should consider it your civic duty to book a table – no pressure or anything. And don’t think about turning down the desert menu – diets always start tomorrow (or never).
So without further ado, we present our top selections of restaurants in South East London.
The Orchard, Brockley
This laid-back, buzzy restaurant is a favourite amongst Brockley’s locals, and for good reason. The exposed brick walls, an open kitchen, and outdoor seating area is the perfect backdrop for anything from breakfast or brunch, to a relaxed Sunday roast, to a good-time party. The ever-evolving, eclectic menu has featured everything from a stuffed breast of guinea fowl with confit leg to wild cabbage and beluga lentil samosas. The craft beer from the Brockley Brewery will ensure all meals slip down smoothly.
Although it might be a ‘you’d never know from the outside’ kind of place, the dishes inside Zaibatsu pack a punch. This Japanese fusion restaurant is no mess and no fuss; it serves up the Japanese classics everyone knows and loves, along with a few extra special additions like the Carson Smiling Roll, stuffed to the brim with wasabi tobiko and orange tobiko. The best part? It’s BYOB, making it the perfect spot for a cheap – if not a little hazy – evening out.
Franklins, East Dulwich
Franklins has stood the test of time, having been in East Dulwich since 1999. Sourcing all their food locally and within the UK, Franklins has a more sustainable and adventurous menu than most in the neighbourhood.
Sample an oyster whilst you peruse the dynamic menu, which has featured the likes of whole rainbow trout with fennel, cucumber and dill, and venison with red cabbage and quince.
The star of the show, however, is most certainly the Sunday roast. Once you end your weekend here, you’ll never look back.
From the Punjab region to South-East London, Masawala is the real deal. This mother daughter team has an authentic offering of Pakistan’s finest dishes. The Meet Bernard favourite has to be the slow cooked boneless lamb curry, but the butternut squash and chickpea curry is a winner for the vegetarian palate.
We also love Masalawala for their charitable endeavours. They have supported and co-hosted charity events for Trekstock, Curry for Change, Goodness Gracious Grief, City Read London, Action for Refugees in Lewisham, and Death Cafe.
Head to Masalawala if you’re looking for great plates and great vibes.
So, here endeth the Meet Bernard culinary tour of South East London. Do us (and yourself) a favour and check out some of these gems. We might even see you in there: so make sure you’re fresh in MB garms, just in case…
The Meet Bernard family x