Among the pretentious, vacuous restaurants that abound in any city, here is a little gem of authenticity in an ordinary southeast London neighbourhood. Outside it is plain; inside, the aromas spark not only an appetite but expectations that are more than met by the friendly patron and the delicious food. We were three and sampled very different aspects of the offerings - lamb, chicken and fish - and all were as you'd serve guests in your own home: well cooked, seasoned subtly, generous in portion, and accompanied by a variety of salad textures. And at modest prices you are more than happy to pay.
The wine our host recommended was inexpensive, crisp, cold and delicious. And here is another reason I'll be back soon: the restaurant is busy but we were never rushed. The serving staff watched carefully as we visited for quite a while over our scrumptuous starters, and when our main course dishes arrived, everything was piping hot.
Of course nothing is perfect. The bread was hard, so next time I'll ask the patron to warm but not heat the pita. How do I know he'll do that? I asked for a starter that wasn't on the menu and he was delighted to make it for me.
The restaurant is about five minute walk from St. John's overground train station, two stops from London Bridge but not close enough to Boston, where we live, so I asked the owner if he'd consider opening in Boston. You'll have to wait in line, he said; I already have requests in from New York, Chicago and Washington DC.
Starters, dinner, sides and wine for three under 75GBP.