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A seasonal restaurant in Bermondsey.
Tucked away in a railway arch, Dandy oozes peak industrial chic: concrete floors, metal barstools and a corrugated ceiling. The tunes are loud and bopping, the staff are young and good-looking. On atmosphere alone, it’s a winner.
Then there’s the food, which was tremendous. All of it. Even the bread: practically half a loaf of crusty sourdough, alongside an ice-cream-scoop-sized ball of soft, salted butter. For starters came a bed of warm ’nduja ingeniously topped with a blow-torched egg yolk. It was playful: I grabbed a fork and gleefully cracked into the caramelised yolk, which trickled into the well-seasoned meaty mess. Hot, spicy and oily happiness. And perfect for dunking in those chunks of bread.
Things just got better from there, really. A dish of sliced pumpkin, pickled for over 20 hours, was tart and tangy, the sharpness balanced by velvety goats’ curd. Another hit: an al dente raviolo (basically, a huge single piece of ravioli), lounging in a pool of sage and brown butter sauce. The pasta was stuffed full of sheep’s ricotta and another molten egg yolk. Carby, creamy brilliance.
And, the culinary crescendo: a simple rack of lamb ribs. The most glorious I’ve ever eaten. The meat, cooked in its own juices, was fatty and tender, with glorious hits of citrus. But, it didn’t stop there. To the side of the rack sat a mound of lamb shoulder: succulent and saliva-provoking. Then, there was the accompanying rich paste of tamarind, coconut sugar and ancho chillis. Even now, my tongue keeps sporadically licking the inside of my mouth to see if there is any left.
Desserts were cracking, too. One, a miso ice cream made from whipped sheep’s yoghurt, fantastically trod the treacherous line between sweet and savoury. My only complaint? Service was on the slow side.
Every so often, you stumble across an unassuming restaurant where the food does what food does best: it induces sheer, uncontrollable joy. This spot does just that. As the name suggests, it’s absolutely dandy.
35 Maltby St
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £115.|
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