An asset locally, and one that has stood the test of time – it’s been in East Dulwich since 1999 (and before that the owners also ran the Secret Garden restaurant at Franklins antiques shop in Camberwell). There’s a commitment to careful sourcing (local where possible and at the very least from the UK, from dedicated growers and producers), and a more adventurous menu than many neighbourhood restaurants.
Try an oyster or two while perusing a menu that might include confit quail and celariac remoulade or potted shrimps to start, followed by ox tongue with black pudding and chicory or whole rainbow trout with fennel, cucumber and dill. Cauliflower and rocket soup was a smooth opener, nicely matched with chunky own-made bread, but tender haunch of venison, served rare with sweetish red cabbage and quince, made more of an impression – though it wasn’t particularly gamey. A side of sprightly greens cut through the richness. Finish with cheese, savouries or a trad pudding such as butterscotch tart. There’s a roast on Sundays too. Drinks run from a Sussex sparkling wine to fresh mint tea.
The light back-room restaurant is given focus by the open kitchen and is patrolled by friendly staff; at the front is a livelier bar area, plus outdoor seating in clement weather. On the next corner is Franklins Farm Shop, where much of the produce comes from farms in Kent.