The Lido Cafe in Brockwell
You wouldn’t think of coming to Brockwell Lido for dinner but The Lido Café, perched on the edge of the park, has a sophisticated ambiance to it: candle-lit tables, with a buzz of friends catching up after a workout or groups and couples opting for a quiet meal. On the edge of the lido with an alfresco dining area and a warm evening, you feel almost as though you’re in a different country.
The menu changes monthly, with August options ranging from Wye smoked salmon and rabbit rillettes to dry-aged rare breed beef burgers and sirloin steaks. To start, the Sourdough Bread with Dukkah worked well complemented by a wine recommended by our waiter, with a rich, deep fruity note to set off our dishes.
Next we ordered the Rabbit Rilletes, Gooseberry Relish and Sourdough Toast and the Severn and Wye Smoked Salmon, Rye Bread, Beetroot and Lemon as starters. Each dish was generously portioned, and the quality of the salmon and tenderness of the potted rabbit did not disappoint. Although the sweetness of the gooseberry chutney slightly overpowered the rabbit, there was pleasing attention to detail, such as the thin-cut beetroot slices that matched perfectly with the salmon.
Next we tried the Dry-Aged, Rare Breed Beef Burger in a Brioche Bun with Triple Cooked Chips and the Grilled Harissa Mackerel, Crushed Jersey Royals, Samphire and Radish Salad. The burger appeared as a good-sized patty, the bun was fluffy and the chips arrived in a mini bucket, novelty-style. Simply done, it was a clean-cut burger with no fat running over your fingers. The flavours were great, however the beef patty was slightly dry as was the brioche bun, though the triple-cooked chips were crisp and not greasy.
The beautifully presented mackerel, with harissa paste and cumin notes running through, worked in harmony with the crunchy samphire, oiled new potatoes and thin-cut tender carrots. It just missed a wedge of lemon to balance the dish, but in all was a healthy, tasty plate of food.
Struggling to make room for dessert, we were no less compelled to order the Chocolate and Apricot Tart and the Vanilla Roast Peach with Maple Syrup and Mascarpone, which arrived with ample time between courses. The bitter, rich chocolate tart, with a small layer of apricot jelly between the pastry and chocolate, was promptly demolished with only a smidgen of cream left on the plate. The vanilla poached peaches were tender but served in the same bowl with the mascarpone cream, which resulted in the dish being muddled together and losing the fresh, chilled contrast to make it a true success.
This modern British restaurant, hailed for serving award-winning food in a unique setting, continues to ooze charm using thoughtfully selected produce that speaks for itself, and a European wine list to complement it. The Upcoming recommends a visit, whether for a quick drink after a walk around the park, or for dinner. We can vouch for the dinner and have no doubt that the brunch and breakfast will not disappoint.
The Lido Cafe: 52/60
Photos: Selina Periampillai
To book a table at The Lido Cafe, Dulwich Road, Brockwell Lido, London SE24 0PA, call 020 7737 8183 or visit here.