Camberwell is full of dining surprises. Obviously you can’t miss the Nando’s on the corner as you go up Denmark Hill, or the McDonald’s as you go into the Butterfly Walk shopping centre. But Camberwell’s dining scene is much more varied, independent and exciting than that.
We went to Johanssons last night. A small scandi-cuisine restaurant at night, a deli by day, tucked behind the bustling Camberwell Church Street.
It looked closed when we approached, though the lights were on. A friendly young lady greeted us and led us past the deli counter, up a small flight of steps, through a big square room with wooden floors and high ceilings, empty apart from a chair or two, and finally, into the small dining room (it only seats about 20 from my count…). Again, a high ceilinged, white wall room with wooden floor, wood tables and chairs and lit by flickering candles and a happy fire (the first of this year).
We were alone, but soon a bunch of eight friends came through the door for dinner, so it turned into a dinner party atmosphere. It was really like eating in someone’s living room… I expect it gets busy in the summer as there is a garden attached to the back of the house.
Anyway, onto the food! A simple menu with two sharing platters, a few good looking mains and a drinks list.
We went for the Scandi platter to share, which was a generous spread presented on a slate. An earthy reindeer terrine with loganberry sauce and tomato chutney, thick homemade ham slices with proper Dijon mustard and sauerkraut, and a two generous slices of salmon terrine with a sour cream and dill sauce. Toasted crusty bread slices to pile it on. Delicious!
We thought we might need a main but the platter was more than enough for three hungry ladies!
A great discovery, and perfect venue for an intimate gathering with friends or family. Must try the brunch!