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Blue Brick Cafe review: A little Veggie heaven in a corner of East Dulwich

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The Full Veggie – homemade baked beans, sourdough bread, scrambled eggs, vegetarian sausage, spinach, mushrooms and tomato

It has to be said – I love a good brunch. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, but I like to sleep in on weekends (when I’m not working that is), so brunch becomes a viable and attractive option by the time I emerge sleepy-eyed from my home. For Mother’s Day, I only had a few hours to spend with my dear ol’ ma (less of the old I’m sure she would say when she reads this!), so we decided to keep it simple and stay local.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Caffeine fix: A large cappuccino costs £2.30

Together with my sister and brother-in-law, we headed into East Dulwich and I had list of potential brunch venues to check out, depending on where had availability without a booking or queue. Having parked in the Northcross Road area, a sign for the Blue Brick Cafe caught my eye so we headed straight there. Although we were a party of four and the café looked pretty busy, they were able to accommodate us. The café is an inviting, small corner building with large windows letting in lots of light and attractive blue tiling surrounding the exterior. The café includes around seven tables and features outdoor seating for warmer months. The venue has a vintage, homely feel with old tables and schoolchairs and old bottles decorating the shelves and windowsills.

After sitting down, we were presented with the breakfast menu (vegetarian and vegan), with additional specials on the chalkboard behind us. As it was around 2pm, most of my party were opting for brunches, although my sister fancied the vegetarian risotto from the lunch specials. I ordered the Full Veggie – homemade baked beans, sourdough bread, scrambled eggs, vegetarian sausage, spinach, mushrooms and tomato. Although it was busy, we ended up waiting around 15 minutes for our food, which went quickly as we chatted while sipping our drinks. While most of my party opted for traditional hot drinks like cappuccino and lattes, I ordered the spiced hot apple and elderflower, which was a really tasty drink. When my brunch arrived, my plate was full to the brim with food, which was the perfect portion for me. The food was delicious – I particularly liked the homemade baked beans, you could really taste the difference and it was nice to have spinach included, as so many brunch places don’t offer the vegetable as an option.

Overall, we all enjoyed our brunch – and my sister her lunch of risotto. The service was friendly and swift and the café was a relaxed, quaint place with a nice, local clientele.  I must go back and try lunch or dinner.

  • Blue Brick Cafe, 14 Fellbrigg Road, East Dulwich, SE22 9HH. Tel: 020 8299 8670. Nearest station: East Dulwich or buses: P13, 40, 176, 185.
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The Blue Brick Cafe is located on the corner of Fellbrigg Road and Shawbury Road – one block south of Northcross Road

To read other Metro Girl’s restaurant and bar reviews, click here.

Blue Brick Cafe on Urbanspoon

Locale, East Dulwich review: Seasonal Italian fare in a relaxed setting

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

To start: Sautéed mussels in garlic, chilli, white wine and Locale tomato sauce served with homemade focaccia

When choosing a cuisine for an evening outing, I rarely opt for Italian as I like to think I can cook pasta and pizza dishes quite well myself. However, when meeting up with a friend for a girlie catch-up, she suggested Locale in East Dulwich. The branch is one of a small chain of five (Fulham, Blackheath, County Hall and Balham) and after Googling the restaurant, found it had overwhelming positive reviews.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The tables are accompanied by leather seats and boots with exposed brick, chandeliers
and antique mirrors

As we were a party of two, we took a risk and turned up on a Friday night without a reservation and were fortunately able to be accommodated. Entering the building, there is a nice, welcoming bar area to walk through before entering the restaurant at the back. The tables were accompanied by comfortable leather chairs and booths with exposed brick and antique mirrors giving a contemporary feel. There is also a terrace for alfresco dining, although maybe not at this time of year!

We started off ordering a bottle of Prosecco Villa Armellina Spumante from the extensive bar menu, which also included reasonably priced cocktails and a long wine list. The prosecco was dry and refreshing and the perfect accompaniment for a hearty carb fest.

For a starter, I opted for the Cozze Locale – sautéed mussels in garlic , chilli, white wine and Locale tomato sauce served with homemade focaccia. Unlike other restaurants I’ve been to where I find there is either too many or too little mussels for a starter, this serving included a manageable 10-12. The sauce was delicious and the focaccia came in handy for soaking it up after I had seen off the mussels.

For my main course, I decided to steer away from my usual Italian favourites like seafood spaghetti or gnocchi and chose the Pasticcio Vegetariano – a vegetarian pasticcio made with mixed grilled seasonal vegetables in layers of crepes, tomato sauce and a light béchamel sauce. Served straight out of the oven, it was piping hot so I had to wait a while for it to cool down. It was very filling, but without being too heavy and tasted delicious. My friend ordered the grated beetroot and goat’s cheese risotto with Arborio rice, parsley and parmesan cheese and really enjoyed her dish too.

Locale pride themselves on offering seasonal menus and each branch has its own specific menu, with all food being prepared on site. We found the food delicious and hearty and the service friendly and attentive. The atmosphere was relaxed and it was an easy location to wile away a few hours with a friend over good food and wine. I’m looking forward to returning and also trying some of the other branches.

  • Locale, East Dulwich, 58-60 East Dulwich Road, SE22 9AX. Tel: 020 7732 7575. Nearest train: East Dulwich. For more information, visit the Locale website.

Locale on Urbanspoon

For contents of all Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Risotto alle barbabietole (left) and Pasticcio vegetariano (right)