Beehive Place review: A culinary journey at Brixton’s freshest pop-up
I’d been hearing great buzz about long-term pop-up Beehive Place for a while and last month I finally got a chance to sample their culinary creations. Located in a former Victorian hayloft in Brixton Market, Beehive Place is a collaboration between Chef Sam Hodges and Restaurateur Theo Cooper (Chateau Marmot). The menu changes every week and uses sourced, seasonal ingredients from farmers and foragers.
A friend and I paid a visit on a Saturday night and it was a full house. We arrived half an hour before our seating and the bar area was already buzzing with customers sampling the unique cocktail menu. We took our seats on one of the large shared table and started with ‘Apearatif’ cocktails (Beehive honey, pear and raspberry purée, Beehive rhubarb gin, fresh mint spirit and sparkling wine), which was juicy and refreshing. Aside from their cocktails, there is also the opportunity to have your wines matched to your courses should you wish.
Each table was assigned a waiter/waitress, who went beyond the usual job description and took us on a culinary journey through our courses. Our waitress was friendly, attentive and incredibly passionate about the dishes, ingredients and where they came from which was great to hear. As both my friend and I are pescetarians (which we warned Beehive about in advance), the kitchen had made an alternative menu for us from the five-courses detailed on our tables.
To start, we had a radish salad topped with ‘Potash Farm’ walnuts (without the Longhorn topside meat option), which was a light, but flavoursome dish. Next up was Isle of Man scallops and foraged sea aster, two rare food options. The scallops were the smallest I’ve ever seen, but were sweet and delicious, while the aster was an unusual taste, but really enjoyable and overall, my favourite dish of the night. The third course was a new adventure for me as it was my first time eating goose egg. The ‘Clarence Court’ egg was served with ‘A.E. Brown’ asparagus on a bed of rye. My friend and I commented how easy it was to cut and eat the asparagus. The creaminess of the egg really complemented the crunch of the rye underneath.
Our penultimate course before dessert was the very unusual ‘Chicken Of The Woods’ mushrooms, served with broad beans on sourdough bread (Meat option being ‘Capestone’ rock hen, beans, black garlic, Jersey royals and wild sweet cicely). The Chicken Of The Woods were certainly, for me, the most adventurous ingredient on the menu. My friend and I debated what they looked like (I thought halloumi). I found the texture and taste very different from usual mushrooms, but the slight sweetness was really tasty. Finally, we got our sugar hit with ‘Jewel’ raspberry ice cream, served in a ‘Sharpam Park’ spelt bun. It was a petite serving, but perfect after four courses and a quaint way to serve ice cream.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole Beehive Place experience. There was a relaxed and warm atmosphere and the time whizzed by as we chatted over our meal. The staff was exceptional and their enthusiasm for the food really showed. Being introduced to so many ingredients I had never heard of before meant we were really taken on a culinary journey. Beehive Place is only in Brixton until the end of June, so book a table while you can. There’s also a late night bar open on Fridays and Saturdays if you want to head down for a drink and a boogie.
- Beehive Place, 11 Beehive Place, Brixton, SW9 7QR. Nearest train/tube: Brixton. Tel: 020 7206 2376. Open Friday and Saturday nights (and some Thursdays) from 7pm. Only booking until 27 June 2015. Five course tasting menu £35, booked in advance. Limited space in bar from 7pm, full capacity with DJs from 10pm. For more information and booking, visit Beehive Place’s website.
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