– 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.
Then in the evenings, a rotating guest list of resident chefs take to the pans to do their thing. Currently, you’ll find Tonoya Chaudhuri flexing her French bistronomy muscle with dishes like stuffed courgette flower, ratatouille, orzo and lavender maple; chicken legs, chicken velouté, and truffled mushrooms; and broad beans with asparagus, goats cheese and Noilly Prat.
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 from 9am (10am on Sundays) till late. Well-behaved dogs are allowed until 6pm. You can find out more, and book a table, at their website HERE. Full brunch and the downstairs bar service will resume soon.
Louie Louie | 347 Walworth Road, SE17 2AL
Last updated: 23rd June 2021
Like brunch spots with a basement bar? Check out Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings