The latest addition to Camberwell’s growing gastro scene, The Camberwell Arms, has finally opened, so I went there last night for dinner and to see what all the positive buzz is about.
There have been some pretty big interior changes since its days as The Recreation Ground; the bar has moved to the left as you enter, and the site of the original bar is now an open kitchen and dining bar. It gives the place more atmosphere and makes it much more inviting to spend time in — both bars were pretty busy when we went in at about 7.30pm. At the rear is a dining area, which was quieter and we got a (shared) table with no difficulty — which was good, as they don’t take reservations.
The menu was fairly small (for mains, at least) but interesting, and there were a few shareable plates on as specials. I ordered slow-cooked goat, the Mrs. had pork belly, and we shared a charcuterie plate. The food was very good, certainly worth going back for, although I’m not sure it’s quite in ‘destination’ territory; I’d say we’ve eaten as well in The Bear, and perhaps slightly better in The Crooked Well and Angels & Gypsies. But it was really good, and I’m still very keen to try some of their dishes for two.
Two courses and a bottle of wine came to about £70; each main is in the £15 region. Not bad for the quality we had, but over the amount we’d comfortably spend for a quick after-work dinner. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Anyway, in summary: The Camberwell Arms is well planned, has great atmosphere, and the food is really good. A very positive start to life in SE5, and I’m really keen to see where they go from here.