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Thursday 27 February 2014

Bibimbap - Andina - Monty's Deli

Guest Post from Jane - Mostly unplanned, the first couple of months of the new year have brought lots of opportunities to try new (for me) bars and restaurants.

Firstly, a quick eat before the theatre in January took me to the central, fast and cheap Bibimbap. A new fan of Korean food; I loved it. We ordered traditional Bibimbap - apparently 'court food' which is basically a mixture of what they promise is healthy rice, veg and meat, which comes in a very hot stone dish and if you choose, you can have a raw egg on top which cooks in the stone. We couldn't resist a bit of kimchee on the side as well (reputedly the food Korean's get most homesick for when abroad) - it's more or less pickled cabbage but tastes much better than it sounds.

The design and atmosphere of the place was very much in keeping with the other quick, cheap east Asian eats coming up around Soho - clean and small, with a young feel and an ever present but fast diminishing queue by the door. A friendly touch was a series of small photos of customers on the wall in the shape of a heart.

For under a tenner, you get a tasty, hearty meal. I'm quick becoming a fan of the up and coming Korean food trend.

Andina was my February treat. Having thoroughly enjoyed a previous visit to Martin Morales' Ceviche in Soho I was keen to get booked in as soon as I heard about it.

We sat down at 6.45pm on a Wednesday and were pleasantly surprised to find the place already quite full despite the ongoing tube strike. We started with a couple of house cocktails, which having tried the pisco sours in Ceviche were a slight disappointment, a little too sugary for my tastes. I stuck to beer thereafter.

The food, however, was a different story. Starting with a street eat and a ceviche, we ordered the prawn & quinoa chowder and the seabass ceviche. Both were tinged with chilli, warming and full of flavour. For mains we chose the lamb skewers and the three potato cakes with varieties of fish. Again, superb flavours and pleasing presentation.

Three potato cakes at Andina
For dessert I shared a brownie with cream ice cream. This was incredibly rich and could have done with something to balance it out. All in all, at nearly £80 for three courses, coffees and drinks for two this was great value, great tasting food with flavours and compositions that are still rare in London. Not to be missed.

The Music Room at Andina - a private dining room with 2000+ strong vinyl collection
Finally, I couldn't miss the opening of Monty's Deli's new premises on Druid Street (just behind Maltby Street Market). Having witnessed the queues when Monty's were on Rope Walk I was curious from the hype and had to try it but had never had the patience to wait out the queues before. On the Sunday lunch when I wandered over to Druid Street there was no queue and I was quite excited.

The menu at Monty's is simple and involves variations of salt beef and pastrami. We opted for one salt beef and one pastrami 'Reuben' which comes with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on rye bread. Portions here are ridiculous but at £7.50 a pop, they need to be.

The new premises are a success - the atmosphere is friendly and on Sundays slightly less 'yuppie-ish' than the usual Saturday Maltby St crowd.

Whilst we're talking about Druid Street, I have also popped into Anspach & Hobday a couple of times since it opened in January. This is the latest brewery on the Bermondsey Beer Mile and the closest yet to Maltby St. Market.  I highly recommend the Smoked Brown and the Porter. The brewery is open from 11am-5pm on Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays too), and there is occasionally live music. They also seem to be sharing the space with Bullfinch Brewery who had a 7.2% USA IPA for sale when I visited.  Bullfinch are technically a cuckoo brewery working off the A&H kit for the moment. Head there this Saturday (March 1st) from 11.00-19.00 for their "OPENING FESTIVAL OF BEER". Sounds good to me.  Matt will probably report some more on these two breweries soon.

Read more Guest Posts from @JaneSlocombe :

Bermondsey Street
Square Meal

Bibimbap Soho on Urbanspoon
Andina on Urbanspoon
Monty's Deli on Urbanspoon

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