Louie Louie | Elephant & Castle Restaurant
– 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 hearty brunch menu on offer featuring potato hash with turmeric coconut cauliflower; cornbread with jalapeño salsa and fried eggs; and kimchi, avocado and feta on toast.
Then in the evenings, a rotating roster of resident chefs take to the pans to do their thing. Currently, you’ll find Jai Harrower on the pans, who grew up locally and claims he was “rescued by cooking” when he joined Jamie Oliver’s apprenticeship restaurant, Fifteen. His menu here draws on Caribbean cuisine, with classics like Tiger’s Pepperpot & hardo bread; platters of roti with plantain hummus; ackee and banana blossom; and plenty of jerk chicken with rice and peas. And for pudding, you’ll have to get the Guinness punch ice cream.
And as the evening settles, you’ll want to head downstairs to grab a booth in the snug lounge area below the café, Late Night Louie. 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 from 8am (9/9.30am on weekends) till late. Well-behaved dogs are allowed until 6pm. You can find out more, and book a table, at their website HERE.
ALSO NOTE: Jai Harrower will be in residency Mon-Sat evenings until 29th February.
Louie Louie | 347 Walworth Road, SE17 2AL
Like brunch spots with a basement bar? Check out Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings