Eating out in London – No 67 Restaurant


No 67 Restaurant is based in the South London Gallery in Camberwell, South London. It is open throughout the day, and has, more recently, started opening into the evening, enabling visitors to stroll around the gallery and stopping for some food. With the quality of catering on offer in galleries and museums variable at best, I was interested to see what was on offer here.. Although you are able to stroll easily from the galleries into the restaurant, it feels separate and cosy, unlike the canteen feel of so many gallery eateries.

It was early evening when we visited and the lighting was most atmospheric, with bare-bulb lights dangling down over each table providing the only light source. The dining room has a very intimate feel, and the modern, slightly edgy interior feels in keeping with this area of London.

As we took our seats, we were brought the menu and offered a drink right away. The wine list offered a good choice of bottles and we chose the Sauvignon de Touraine by the glass, which was very drinkable. The dinner menu is short, and changes daily. Starters are around £4-6 and mains around £12. Wine starts from around £5 per glass to £25 for a decent bottle. The kitchen opens into the dining room and the smells of cooking wafting out into the dining room were most enticing. Upbeat jazz played softly in the background, punctuated by the clatter from the kitchen all lend themselves to the cosy and warm feeling as we perused the evening menu. As I gazed around the room, I noticed all tables were taken by 8pm, which seemed pretty busy for a wet Wednesday night. With couples chatting and friends giggling, it felt as though everyone was having a good time.

My sister and her boyfriend accompanied me for the evening. Lucy is vegan and I had been rather disorganized and not given the restaurant much notice that she would be coming. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit, I only called them an hour before our reservation. We were very pleased that they had taken the trouble to prepare her a special menu. Not only was there a good choice, but also we took it as a good sign that the kitchen staff are able to be creative and cook from scratch.

To start, I had a very tasty dish of thinly sliced raw pumpkin, topped with a delicious minty yoghurt dressing, which was very well seasoned. Andy had the rarebit, which was very intense and dark, flavoured with Guinness and Worcestershire sauce. It was a little intensely flavoured for me, but much enjoyed by Andy. Lucy had a very thick and gorgeously coloured beetroot and tarragon soup, which she thought was nicely flavoured.

Moving onto the main course, Lucy had a specially created barley risotto, topped with chargrilled aubergines and artichokes. It was very pleasant main and was much more creative than the vegan offering at so many restaurants. For my main, I had a grilled leg of lamb with polenta and braised runner beans. The portion was enormous and quite well executed. I would have liked to have seen the runner beans de-strung, as they were rather tough, although very tasty in a rich and flavoursome tomato sauce. Andy had the braised leg and cured breast of duck with courgettes and mint, which we struggled to find fault with.

Desserts at No 67 were a highlight of the menu. Lucy and Andy chose a chocolate sorbet, served with salted caramel and toasted hazelnuts, which was very good indeed. The sorbet was dark and intense, and lifted with the salty caramel and crunchy nuts. I went for the selection of English cheeses. I only wish I had not been so full, as it included Bragstone, Colston Bassett and Lincolnshire Poacher.

No 67 is a very pleasant place to eat if you live locally or are visiting the area. The food is very good, and the atmoshpere is most enjoyable. Dinner and a gallery visit is a most enjoyable way to spend an evening and is strongly recommended. The restaurant is also to be commended for its flexibility when it comes to catering for guests with specific dietary requirements.

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