One of the best things about moving somewhere new is undoubtedly discovering all the restaurants, bars and cafes that are only known to the locals in the vicinity. I’ve already sourced the best takeaway in Brockley, and now I’ve got another fast favourite in The Gantry. At first glance The Gantry looks like a small wine bar, dotted on the corner of Brockley Road as you turn off toward the station. However if you turn the corner inside you find a hodge podge of rooms in a quirky set up, culminating in a bright but cosy conservatory and hidden garden area at the back, which will be perfect for a quick glass of wine and bar bites come summer.
Not only is this a great neighbourhood place to grab a drink (the wine is very good, and I always find being able to buy by the carafe a nice touch), but the food here is excellent and 100% lived up to the expectations I had formed after several stints drooling over the menu online. My friend opted for the small charcuterie board to start (£7), which looked great and something I would definitely order in future, whilst I went for the goats cheese and baked apple millefeuille (£6), which was balanced artfully on top of a crispy pastry nest. Not being what I would usually go for, I was swayed by the goats cheese and was impressed with the balance of flavours and textures.
Mains were lamb shank on a bed of parsnip and potato mash with a honey and red wine sauce (£17) and chicken and crayfish fricassee served with a spinach and mushroom lasagne (£13). We both did that whole ‘roll your eyes into the back of your head’ thing when we tried our meals and I really cannot recommend the lamb dish enough, as tender as it was, the meat falling off the bone just as it should do and swimming in that rich gravy. I would have maybe liked a little more mash, but then mash is a main feature of my death row meal so I never think there’s enough of it. A side of buttered kale with pine nuts (£3.80) completed the main course perfectly.
Apparently unable to resist sticky toffee pudding whenever it features on a menu – which I am steadfastly claiming to be an act of thorough research into my quest for London’s best sticky toffee puds – I of course tacked this onto the end of my meal despite being comfortably full. It was a good competitor in the sauce and ice cream accompaniment stakes, though the sponge not as light as I like. Luckily there are an array of other enticing choices on the dessert menu such as tarte tatin and chocolate pastilla to try on the next visit.
The Gantry spruce up the menu regularly, as well as serving roasts on Sundays and brunch every weekend until 1pm, which makes finding an excuse to swing by fairly easy. Plus they do a special burger night on Mondays, where you get a free pint or glass of wine with your order, and on Tuesdays do steak and fries for a tenner. The drinks menu alone is enough to pull you in for a few, with Whitstable pale ale, Asahi, Sam Adams and Stowford Press cider all on tap, an extensive list of wines from around the world and a cocktail menu to boot.
Might pop in there tonight, actually.
188 Brockley Rd, London SE4 2RL
+44 (0) 20 8469 0043
Open: Mon – Thu: 4pm until 11.30pm; Fri: 11.30am – 11.30pm; Sat and Sun from 10am, closing at 11.30pm and 11pm respectively
Starters: £4.50 – £8
Mains: £11 – £22.50
Desserts: £5 – £6.50