– The Kingsmen, 1963
The official lyrics there to the hit song Louie Louie. Thanks to his braces, a case of exhaustion, and an unnaturally positioned microphone, not even the lead singer knew quite what he was saying…
…but it sounds an awful lot like the sound you’ll be making when you go along to sample some of the food at Elephant & Castle cafe-cum-restaurant-cum-drinking-den-cum-flagrant overachiever, Louie Louie – a collaboration between the team behind (the sadly now closed) cocktail bar NOLA, and Camberwell’s Fowlds Cafe.
By day, you can feast on top-notch coffee, vamped-up toasties, and cakes courtesy of their in-house Brasilian pastry maestro, Michel Scherer. And at weekends, there’s a dinky brunch menu that features all the necessities – avo on toast; eggs benny; and blueberry pancakes with bacon or chocolate.
Then in the evenings, a rotating guest list of resident chefs take to the pans to do their thing. Currently you’ll find Pamela’s Pizza in the kitchen, chef Daniel Lloyd’s outfit (named after his granny) that specialises in ‘London-style sourdough’. After pop-ups at Soho House and 180 Strand, he’s here until early September slinging slices of 8 hour beef & pork ragù pizza; cauliflower cheese calzone; and fermented orange hazelnut focaccia served with allspice butter.
And as the evening settles, you’ll want to head downstairs to grab a booth in the snug lounge area below the café. You’ll kick back with one of their unconventional cocktails – like the Dead Sea Sling with tamarind tequila, cinnamon, soda, and a black lime charcoal salt rim – or perhaps venture through their list natural and skin contact wines, and locally-produced craft beers – all while DJs caress your eardrums with tracks played through a vintage sound system…
Just don’t expect to be able to decipher any of the lyrics.
Louie Louie | 347 Walworth Road, SE17 2AL
Like brunch spots with a basement bar? Check out Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings