[London] September 2018 London roundup

My last one of these was for August, so here’s a summary of interesting things I ate in London in September. It’s been good to see all the activity on the board over the past month! If anyone else has been considering posting about something but didn’t think it worth a full post, please feel free to drop it in a comment here. As Limster used to remind us over on Chowhound, the more voices the better.

Browns of Brockley, 5 Coulgate Street, SE4 2RW (website)

This tiny cafe just across the road from Brockley Station is still tiny despite having expanded into the next-door unit late last year. It does some very interesting sandwiches on very good sourdough — nicely fresh with a lovely chewy crust. The cheddar, creamed corn, and spinach filling (photo) worked really well; I’d been concerned the corn would be too sweet but it wasn’t at all. Note that they don’t take cash.

Nightingale On The Green, 51 Nightingale Lane, Wanstead, E11 2EY (website)

This long-standing pub reopened under new ownership in July this year, and I was pleased to see that they’d managed to retain the ambience while smartening up the look. Salt & pepper squid (photo) was among the best I’ve had recently, with a light but well-seasoned batter and plenty of flavour in the squid itself. A side salad of spinach was delicious, with a subtle umami flavour in the dressing.

Herne Tavern, 2 Forest Hill Road, SE22 0RR (website)

Continuing the theme of surprisingly good deep-fried seafood in suburban pubs, breaded whitebait (photo) didn’t have a single obvious bone, the breading stayed on and wasn’t greasy, it was a generous portion, and the tartare sauce appeared to have been made in-house.

Naughty Piglets, 28 Brixton Water Lane, SW2 1PE (website)

This small-plates restaurant and wine bar was another good tip from @ds. I will mention straight off that it’s not great in terms of physical accessibility, as the toilets are in the basement down a narrow flight of stairs with only a partial handrail. They can’t do much about the basement placement (it’s a really small space), but a proper handrail all the way down on both sides would make it so much more accessible.

Anyway. Ham croquette (photo) had one small chewy bit but was otherwise good; very creamy, well-seasoned without being over-salted, and not at all greasy.

Grilled pear with jerusalem artichokes, hazenuts, and blue cheese (photo) was a lovely combination of flavours and textures, with each component well-handled and just the right amount of everything.

Roast cod with XO sauce, cauliflower puree, and sea aster (photo) was richer than I wanted after the grilled pear, which was also quite rich. The flavours were good, though, and here there was contrast of temperature as well as texture, with the cauliflower puree served chilled. I think the XO sauce was made in-house, but forgot to ask.



Really. Even for a cup of tea, you have to pay by card. Here’s a brief Evening Standard article with some info from the owner.


I did know that ATMs are being taken out of service as more people use card, instead of cash, but havent come across anywhere that refuses cash. No doubt those of us in the frozen north will catch up with the capital in a few years or so.

Down in That London it’s becoming more common, especially for the more casual, hipster-focussed cafe or food-to-go

It does mean slightly more charges from the bank, but the upside for the vendor can be considerable: no need to count cash at the end of the day, no need to maintain a float and worry about providing change, quick payments with contactless and no worries about theft of the day’s takings.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr