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Hattie Lloyd 29/07/22


There are a lot of great restaurants that do comfort food.

But to find one that combines that with sleek interiors, amazing drinks, a fancy grocery shop and a load of outdoor seating that makes you feel like you’re in Manhattan’s East Village?

Well, that is a rare bit of luck.

This Rarebit is a friendly neighbourhood spot on the corner of a slick new avenue in Elephant and Castle. It’s part of a new development filled with glossy skyscraper apartments, manicured parks and tidy streets – an area that feels like it hasn’t quite bedded in yet.

But Rarebit feels like it’s part of the fabric here for years.

rarebit elephant & castle

It’s the kind of place that’s going to bring life to this brand new development. Bustling and warm, even on a Tuesday evening, it’s a haven of conviviality. The street outside is brought to life by the glow of lights on the terrace; inside is a modern but inviting space with Scandinavian-style wooden wall panelling, soft-focus globe lighting and olive green banquette seating. And whether you’re dropping in for a quick bite at lunch, a weekend brunch or a leisurely evening meal, your whole visit will be underscored by a genuine sense of hospitality that’s rarely pulled off with such aplomb.

rarebit elephant & castle

Rarebit is a specialist in sophisticated comfort food. The eponymous house dish – thick, grilled cheese sauce on toast – is deliciously well executed, and can be souped up with fresh crab, or chunks of black pudding & chilli. The rest of the menu is designed to share, a mix of small and large plates that cover all the bases. There’s a warming coconut & mussel curry to mop up with freshly baked sourdough; scallop & n’duja mac & cheese; pork belly & crackling with a cauliflower purée. But there’s also lightness in the form of delicate seared mackerel with a lip-smacking pickled fennel garnish; warm mushroom salad with sherry vinegar; and a glorious burrata partnered with juicy scorched peach. It’s all capped off with salted baked figs with Greek yoghurt and compote; a Neal’s Yard cheeseboard or a couple of from The Ice Cream Union (the rhubarb is one of the most intriguing flavours we’ve tried in a while).

rarebit elephant & castle

Along the back of the restaurant is a beautifully lit cocktail bar where you’re more than welcome to swing by just for drinks. The team are well-versed in classic cocktails, and there’s some left-field choices on the shelves (love a Fernet-Branca) – otherwise, have a browse through the long and varied wine list. They’re all taken off the shelves of their bottleshop, meaning that if you find a bottle you really like, you can grab one to take home with you, too.

Which is comforting to know.


NOTE: Rarebit is open Tuesday – Sunday for brunch, lunch and dinner (no dinner on Sundays). You can find out more, and book a table, HERE.

Rarebit | 11 Sayer Street, SE17 1FY

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11 Sayer Street, Elephant & Castle, SE17 1FY
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