Nandine at Spike & Earl: pop-up review
This week we head to Camberwell to put Nandine's Spike + Earl kitchen takeover to the test. Expect sleepy falafels (no, we're not talking about our post-lunch selves), buttery battered artichokes and tipples that... er, Twinkle
What's the draw
Spike + Earl is that rare kind of neighbourhood joint we'd love to have in our neck of the woods. Full of stripped-back Scandi vibes and a bounty of leafy foliage, it's a buzzing social enterprise coffee roastery by day and candlelit cocktail bar by night that regularly hosts kitchen residencies, workshops and events. Taking over the pass last week was Nandine, a contemporary Kurdish pop-up by the Baban family. They're one of the first permanent traders to set up in the soon-to-open Peckham Levels, so if you didn't catch them at Spike + Earl, don't worry, you can still get messy with the mezze later this year.
What to drink
It took a lot of willpower to turn down the chance to try Spike + Earl's house-made coffee liqueur in their Old Spike Martini. Instead, we turned to the rather less caffeinated Twinkle – an extremely sippable coupe of vodka, sweet elderflower and prosecco – and a pleasantly sharp grenache blanc from Montfrin La Tour in the south of France.View on Instagram
What to eat
Nandine's menu was short and sweet – so short, in fact, that you could count the number of dishes on a single hand – and plenty of dishes are there to cater for veggies and vegans. With some regret, we overlooked the epic-looking veggie mezze, but any food envy was avoided by stuffing our faces with a round of soft and buttery battered artichokes dipped in cooling cucumber yoghurt and offset with sweet bursts of pomegranate, before going full rebound with a 'sleepy falafel' burger. We didn't ask where its name came from, but we're pretty sure it's because, if you're anything like us, you'll be dreaming about this epic combination of falafel, halloumi and sweet chilli jam for weeks to come.