Category Archives: South Kennington

The top ten best restaurants in Kennington – numbers 7 to 5

7. Dirty Burger
pros: top quality, posh, juicy burgers
cons: the Vauxhall gyratory goes right past the outdoor tables, and the veggie burger features mushrooms, which everyone knows are banned throughout Kennington on grounds of taste, texture, appearance, smell, and name
hygiene rating: 5 (Reassuringly Clean Burger)

6. Doost
pros: delicious Persian specialities, a charcoal grill, and loads of vodkas
cons: it’s a little pricey
hygiene rating: 5

5. Adulis
pros: Eritrean food is such good fun
cons: the service can be a little sketchy
hygiene rating: 4

Doost Persian Grill & Vodka Bar

Doost Persian Grill & Vodka Bar

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant and Bar

There are a surprising number of Eritrean restaurants in London. Adulis is one of the longest established, having been in South Kennington since 1996, and probably the best (also check out Kifto House, just outside the borders of West Kennington on South Lambeth Road).

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Eritean food is really tasty and fun. It’s all about the injera – leavened pancakes made with sourdough of teff flour, which is a grain grown in Ethiopia and Eritrea that’s gluten free and nutritious. Your food will come served on a giant injera, and you’ll get a separate bowl of rolled up injera which you’ll use instead of cutlery to scoop up the food. Order the vegetable or meat platter, or a mix of the two, and you’ll get a variety of delicious stews, including goat and boiled egg. It makes for an unusual and enjoyable communal eating experience that’s great for parties – the atmosphere in Adulis is always good. The only snag is it’s arguably the world’s least photogenic cuisine: 

Adulis platter - kenningtonrunoff.com

Eritrea does have one brand of beer – it’s called Gold Star – but in South Kennington you will have to settle for Tusker Lager which is from Kenya and annoyingly owned by Diageo:

Adulis Tusker Lager and flowers - kenningtonrunoff.com

After dinner comes the coffee ceremony, which begins with heavily roasted coffee beans being waved in front of you so you can absorb the aroma. These will then be ground, placed in a traditional clay vessel, boiled several times, and served with popcorn, accompanied by the smell of burning frankincense.

After the coffee ceremony comes hour after hour of caffeine-induced mania (that must be what the early morning clubbers of West Kennington have been drinking).

what part of Kennington should you live in?

What could you eat forever?

  • A) coconut and tamarind fish curry
  • B) double Ginger Pig-bred cheeseburger in a brioche bun
  • C) ceviche
  • D) lemongrass sesame pork rice vermicelli
  • E) quinoa and camargue red rice salad
  • F) spicy hot beef and okra stew on injera
  • G) McDonald’s happy meal

What is your jam?

  • A) Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle
  • B) Slave To The Rhythm by Grace Jones
  • C) Windowlicker by Aphex Twin
  • D) Pass Out by Tinie Tempah
  • E) Vindaloo by Fat Les
  • F) You Got The Love by Florence & The Machine
  • G) Timber by Pitbull feat. Ke$ha

Which is your favourite Kevin Spacey?

  • A) House of Cards Kevin Spacey
  • B) LA Confidential Kevin Spacey
  • C) The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey
  • D) Seven Kevin Spacey
  • E) Late night dog walking Kevin Spacey
  • F) American Beauty Kevin Spacey
  • G) K-PAX Kevin Spacey

What’s on the top of your Kennington bucket list?

  • A) watching Florence from Florence & The Machine do an impromptu drunken covers set at a tiki bar
  • B) dancing till the sun comes up then comes down again
  • C) going to Radiohead’s Boiler Room takeover at Corsica Studios
  • D) exploring urban forests and soaking up ruin porn before it’s too late
  • E) attending a private view at Damien Hirst’s new gallery
  • F) going to a test match
  • G) watching Millwall play at home

How did you score?

Mostly A’s – you should live in Central Kennington
Mostly B’s – you should live in West Kennington (formerly known as Vauxhall)
Mostly C’s – you should live in North Kennington (formerly known as Elephant & Castle)
Mostly D’s – you should live in East Kennington (formerly known as Walworth)
Mostly E’s – you should live in North West Kennington (formerly known as Lambeth)
Mostly F’s – you should live in South Kennington (formerly known as Oval)
Mostly G’s – you should not live in Kennington; would suggest Fallujah, or Clapham

Kennington vs local postcards, Lassco Maltby Street - kenningtonrunoff.com

Mimi’s Italian Deli

Stuck for a Christmas present for that special food lover in your life? Get along to Bon Vivant Boulevard (AKA Brixton Road) and assemble a hamper from all the delights that are on offer.

South Kennington institution Mimi’s Deli is a good place to start. It’s a family-run deli and cafe selling Italian foods and wines, many of which would otherwise be hard to find in London.

Meats and cheeses:

Mimi's meats and cheeses - kenningtonrunoff.com

Italian wines, starting at £7.50 per bottle:

Mimi's wines etc - kenningtonrunoff.com

If in doubt, there’s always Panettone:

Mimi's cakes in the window - kenningtonrunoff.com

They open till 7pm every day except Sundays when they close at 3pm. Still not sure? Let inspiring testimonials from the likes of Joanna Lumley, Kevin Spacey and Will Self convince you.

Mimi's Deli - kenningtonrunoff.com

Malinka Continental Delicatessen

We need to think of a name for the northern stretch of Brixton Road to reflect all its foodie delights. Bon Vivant Boulevard? Gourmet Ghetto?

Anyway, Malinka Continental Delicatessen has been at 58 Brixton Road for at least six years but people are still discovering it. From the outside you could mistake it for a standard Polish delicatessen, and the aesthetic of the cafe area is rather utilitarian, but they make up for it with a great range of products – some Polish but mostly not – and a five star hygiene rating from the Food Standards Agency (we are sticklers for hygiene).

Malinka products - kenningtonrunoff.com

Teapigs tea – hurray:

Malinka teas - kenningtonrunoff.com

Cheeses:

Malinka cheeses - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also do sandwiches, lasagne, pierogi and such like, and they have a comically bad website which claims they are closed on the weekends but we think this is wrong.

Malinka is a village in Northern Poland and has several meanings in Polish: raspberry, or love bite, or person who is prepared to pay wildly over the odds for nicely branded tea. Yes, we’re a pair of malinkas here at Kennington Runoff.

Cable Bar & Café

The South Kennington end of Brixton Road in is becoming a haven for food and drink lovers. There’s the Oval Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, plus some very good delis and restaurants which we’ll write about soon. Best of all for hot drinks and extended visits is Cable Bar & Café, from the people behind the Scootercaffe on Lower Marsh in Waterloo – a cafe so cool it wouldn’t be out of place on Redchurch Street or in The Marais in Paris.

Cable Cafe bar - kenningtonrunoff.com

Cable, which used to be a greasy spoon, has a similar aesthetic to the Scootercaffe, which used to sell scooters, with vintage furniture, exposed brickwork, a poster for North by Northwest, a playlist featuring Edith Piaf, Françoise Hardy and the Velvet Underground, and live music on Tuesdays (jazz, bop, bluegrass – that kind of thing). Bands playing the nearby Brixton Academy gravitate here after soundcheck, so if you see someone who looks like they’re in Gogol Bordello or Lamb of God, they probably are.

Moka sign in Cable Cafe & Bar - kenningtonrunoff.com

Their coffee is top notch and food-wise they offer a selection of sausage rolls, scotch eggs and cakes. The Evening Standard have been breathlessly promoting West Kennington for some time now, which stretched to this South Kennington spot not long after it opened.

Cable Bar & Cafe coffee machines and wall mural - kenningtonrunoff.com

They also have a piano:

Cable Cafe & Bar piano - kenningtonrunoff.com

 

Cable Bar & Café

8 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6BU
020 8617 9629

Kennington Park

It’s a beautiful day so, on your way to the Pullens Yards open day, why not take a walk through Kennington Park?

This is is Lambeth’s oldest park, having been established in 1854, and was previously Kennington Common where up to 300,000 chartists rallied in 1848, as well as being the site of many other protests. Nowadays it plays occasional host to fairs and London’s version of Oktoberfest, but the rest of the time there’s plenty to look out for:

There are football and hockey astroturf pitches. Bob Marley used to play football in Kennington Park while recording the Exodus album and staying at the Rastafari temple on St Agnes Place (a long-standing squatted street alongside the park that was needlessly demolished in 2007).

Oh, and Kennington Common was the place where football began – the Gymnastic Society played regularly on Kennington Common during the late 18th century.

There are also tennis, netball and basketball courts, outdoor gym facilities, a community cricket area, a skate bowl, and these outdoor table tennis tables which are a recent arrival:

Kennington Park table tennis - kenningtonrunoff.com

Delicious local honey from Bee Urban is harvested in the grounds of the Keeper’s Lodge, although, controversially, they are due to be relocated within the park as a consequence of the Northern Line extension. You can purchase the honey from the cafe in the middle of the park, as well as at local fetes, and it really does taste great.

Prince Consort’s Lodge was originally built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 as an example of a “model dwelling” and was re-erected in the model location – Kennington – from 1852-3. It was sponsored by Prince Albert, hence the name:

Prince Consort Lodge, Kennington Park - kenningtonrunoff.com

Look out for these trees with weird triangular-shaped trunks (technical term), and there’s also a nature trail through the park (look for the silver signs):

Kennington Park triangular tree - kenningtonrunoff.com

Generally the park looks lovely at this time of year, although the English Flower Garden doesn’t really come into its own until spring:

Kennington Park in Autumn - kenningtonrunoff.com

So how did Kennington Park become so desirable and have so much going for it? Remember the Friends of Durning Library? Well, there’s another mysterious Kennington organisation that are equally feared and equally powerful – The Friends of Kennington Park – and they have a very informative website here. There’s also an exhaustive and exhausting Kennington Park Wikipedia entry.

Kennigton Park paths - kenningtonrunoff.com

The Kennington Triangle

A fellow local blog, South Kennington Partnership, has suggested that the triangle between Kennington Park Road, Brixton Road and Camberwell New Road be renamed The Kennington Triangle, with its current name The Kennington Oval being reserved for the cricket ground. We agree wholeheartedly.

Some surprising objects have appeared in The Kennington Triangle in recent times.

During the Olympics, this giant shot put landed there:

Olympic shot put at Kennington Triangle - kenningtonrunoff.com

And during a recent clean-up operation, the disembodied head of Pete Waterman was found:

The disembodied head of Pete Waterman at Kennington Triangle, from the Oval Partnership website

(photo borrowed from the South Kennington Partnership website)