Mono, Nandine, Nape and Louie Louie — food and drink news

Interior of Mono coffee shop

It’s been a while since I wrote about new places in the area to eat and drink, and as they’re generally the most popular posts, let’s do that.

Mono (above) is the most recent addition, a new coffee shop that’s opened at 49 Denmark Hill. It’s very much the modern coffee shop style: bare brick, gleaming espresso machines, and a bunch of old classics on vinyl. I popped in for a takeaway coffee (a flat white, very good) and had a quick chat with the owner—he says there’s a kitchen in the basement which his partner will cook in, so expect food to come soon. For now it’s coffee and pastries, but I look forward to seeing how it grows.

Nandine is a small café serving Kurdish salads, sandwiches, and sweets. I’ve been in a couple of times since it opened in December (I think), for a very tasty sausage breakfast sandwich and a chicken wrap. It’s a family business, with mum in the kitchen, dad as the handyman, and son front of house. It’s tucked away in the backstreets of Vestry Road (near the old town hall) and will struggle with foot traffic, so if you’re a local or passing nearby do check it out. (They also deliver through Uber Eats.)

Nape are a bar, bottle shop and deli specialising in wine and cured meats—it’s a business enterprise of Cannon & Cannon, the local meat specialists. The bar, at 21 Camberwell Church Street (one of the old library units), opened in December as a pop-up test run, but are now fully launched. Wine and ham is pretty much my dream combination, so I dropped in last night and can confirm it’s great; wine on tap and by the bottle, and delicious small plates.

Eggs & chorizo from Louie Louie

Louie Louie is a café/bar/restaurant specialising in cocktails. They’re a little bit out of our catchment area at 347 Walworth Road, SE17, but I’ll make an exception as they’re from the team behind Fowlds café in Addington Square. Weekend brunch (above) is very popular, we were lucky to get a table just before lunchtime on Sunday, and a constant flow of people arrived all the time we were in there—seems there’s pretty high demand in the area.

In other food & drink news, there’s a new kebab shop, Tazze, at 22 Camberwell Church Street, in the place where once stood Safa and the short-lived Shanghai Taste. In terms of what they offer, I had a decent doner there (made with cuts of lamb, not the minced ‘elephant leg’), but it’s not at the standard of FM Mangal and is up against two popular incumbents in Golden Grill and Bolu.

The Flying Fish, further down Church Street, has closed. Only temporarily, from what I’m told; seems Kamal, the previous owner, has retired and sold the business. New owners will apparently reopen in six weeks or so, keeping it as a chippy.

In final, less positive news, the landlady of the Nags Head says the owners of the pub have more than doubled her rent to some £75,000 per year, making it untenable for her to stay there. The pub was recently granted ‘asset of community value’ status by Southwark council and will have to continue with the A4 use class (‘drinking establishment’) in the future, but no idea what form that will take as the rooms above the premises will be converted into flats.

The demographic of Camberwell, like everywhere else in central London, is changing.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

18 thoughts on “Mono, Nandine, Nape and Louie Louie — food and drink news”

  1. Thanks for the roundup Peter, great stuff. I can vouch for Nandine, which I’ve visited a handful of times with my toddler. What it lacks in atmosphere or ‘hip’ decor it more than makes up for in friendliness and tastiness. The sweet and savoury bites are delicious and affordable, and it’s a very welcoming environment for families as kids are fussed over and there’s plenty of space for prams. In slight contradiction to that point, it will also appeal to those who work from cafes as a place off the beaten track which will be far quieter than many of the smaller, busier cafes on the main drag.

  2. £75,000 a month seemed impossible even for the changing demographic of Camberwell, and, indeed, the article you link to says £75,000 a year.

  3. In other good news, the South London Gallery at last has a stonkingly good exhibition. At first, as an ordinary Camberwellian, you think, oh, this is not like watching paint dry, it is watching paint dry. But the pace is for a purpose and this exhibition is incredibly relevant to the new Camberwell, London, the UK and the whole world.

    The accompanying “text” is the usual critical-theory bollocks. Practice? Yeah, keep practicing. But the films and piece of Trump Tower in a cabinet are truly awesome.

  4. Mono is a good new addition to that side of town. It seems that stretch of Denmark Hill is changing.

    I think there will also be pop up art galleries in 43, next to Mono. There’s a photography exhibition starting later this week and the first exhibition was rather good. Way better than the chin scratch we normally get at South London Gallery anyway. See above for more about that.

  5. We have been burgled. Does anyone know about doors? Our old door was full of character but a bit rickety. We need a new, period door just like the old one, but solider. Do we have local door people who can craft an artisanal door for old money, like 7/6d? This is an urgent and heartfelt plea.

    1. Unlucky Dagmar. I don’t know much about where to source a period-correct door I’m afraid. The salvage yard on Southampton Way perhaps.

  6. Thanks, Gabe. Once you look into it, a door is a robust, precise and complex piece of machinery. The metaphysical and metaphorical, experiential and existential implications and ramifications of a door are as complex as a five-lever mortice deadlock.

    But, basically, this is a straight deal between you and the outside world.

  7. Many thanks, St Giles. The insurers say they’re going to pay up, today, so we’ll use the domestic repair company who sent out a chap from Swanley to fix the old door temporarily — he did a good job.

    On the evening it happened, we panicked and got the nearest rascal off the internet who proved to be an indeterminate man in a car who bodged the job, covered the Yale lock so we couldn’t get in and out and charged £120 cash (no VAT innit). His English was good, I have to say.

    So we’ll use the Swanley chap’s company, Evander, to do a thorough door replacement job in keeping with the character of Camberwell, etc.

    I have to say the WHITE WORKING CLASS FROM NORTH KENT do a good job.

    They nearly always used to live in Camberwell and hereabouts and know the score. They are always old-fashioned craftsmen with pride, even if they’re young. Our boiler was installed by a similar fellow from Faversham who went to the Nautical School here for discipline because he was naughty, he told us.

    He lifted the whole house up, installed the boiler and lowered the villa gently back down on top. Proper job.

    Even their safe-deposit box craftsmen are of the highest quality, including towards the end of their long careers.

    I’d like to add that our washing machine was fixed by an incredibly well-educated and interesting man from Eritrea and my teeth by the legendary Nigerian Professor of Dentistry from King’s who trains all the dentists for miles around.

    We are all Camberwell. Nous sommes tous le Camberwell.

  8. On the other hand, there must be a ponytailed, bearded, artisanal crafter or empowered carpenterwoman in our area who can rebuild or reconstruct a door somewhere in our area?

  9. thanks for this — im off to try louie louie tomorrow and the menu looks great

    on another note I found this earlier when looking for old photos of my street and found it very interesting

    http://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/camberwellhouse.html

    does anyone know where one can find old photos of their streets in Camberwell? I would love to see what my 1930s block used to look like before it was ruined with upvc windows!

  10. Does anyone know what sort of restaurant is going to be in the old Southwark Town Hall building? It looks like they’re starting work on it …

  11. It’s like there’s a surfeit of good coffee shops nowadays. I’m not a coffee nerd – luckily – but the Old Spike Roastery in Peckham makes really good espresso. It opened up new vistas in coffee appreciation for me — seriously.

  12. The Nag’s Head on Camberwell Road will close by 1 April. I went in there this week and urge anyone with legs to do so. You will see the kind of fascinating, feature-filled, well-worn and well-loved pub interior that, if you paid a top London interiors design firm £2 million to “create”, would be exactly this.

    I cannot recommend this friendly pub more fulsomely, just for one last pint. In traditional pub terms, it is the Land of Shangri-La.

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