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.
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 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).
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
Like being in the know? Check out the Nudge’s guide to what’s on in London this month
The Nudge is an independent, searchable and highly-curated guide to the most interesting places to go and things to do in London, giving members unrestricted access to our full compendium of continually-updated restaurants, bars, events, exhibitions, date ideas, itineraries, member perks, weekend guides, monthly agendas and more – all delivered via our website, email newsletters & members’ app.
Join us to see what’s hot in London this week; to explore all of the recommendations & ideas stored within The Nudge’s website and members’ app; and to start making the most of life in London today. Start Free One Week Trial