– 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 sandwiches, and cakes courtesy of their in-house Brasilian pastry maestro, Michel Scherer. And at weekends, there’s a dinky brunch menu centred around bagels and muffins, including a salmon number imported from the best bakery in town, Brick Lane Beigel Bake.
Nic Crilly Hargrave
Then in the evenings, a rotating guest list of resident chefs take to the pans to do their thing. Currently you’ll find Cameron Dewar and Josh Dallaway (aka Retan) in the kitchen, a nomadic supper club that roams around London turning restaurant spaces into temporary Parisian bistros. So with that being said, they’ve rustled a menu of French-leaning small plates that go from the small (white onion velouté with cocoa chantilly or aged beef tartar with seaweed relish) to the big (chalk stream trout with broccoli, pickled lemon and chickpea or Herdwick lamb chasseur) to the sweet (malted milk ice cream or chocolate crèmeux sherry caramel & smoked cream). As for who they are: Josh is a former chef at Sager + Wilde, so handles the food, while Cameron is a sommelier with previous stints at Elliot’s and Elystan Street, so he’s the reason why the wine selection is on point.
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.
NOTE: Louie Louie is open daily, with brunch on weekends (walk-in only for groups of under 4). You can find out more, and book a table, at their website HERE.
Louie Louie | 347 Walworth Road, SE17 2AL
Like brunch spots with a basement bar? Check out Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings
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