Food Yard Friday at The Artworks Elephant
Last night I went to a great new food venue. Actually, it’s not a food venue more a food destination. It’s called The Artworks Elephant and it is a loose conglomeration of food entrepreneurs and artists. The Artworks itself is a box park made up of old shipping containers. The food and drink on offer at The Artworks Elephant has been on the radar of South London foodies and locals but now they want to get the word out beyond Elephant. The tenant list includes up-and-coming names such as Marcel & Sons, The Frenchie, Elephant Shack, Love Fresh Vietnamese and Black Acorn. There are 10 food and drink entrepreneurs in total.
I was invited to join in on one of their Food Yard Friday events. The night started out with drinks and then we popped into Elephant Snack for lamb wraps. The ‘Shack specializes in organic flatbreads and burger buns. The food was delicious and was paired up with some great Portuguese wine, Altano made by the Symingtons. Catherine, one of the owners, fell in love with these wines. I tried all 3 they had on offer, the white was crisp and juicy, the red full of red fruit and the Reserva, rich and lush. But, I like Portuguese wines anyway!
Marcel & Sons is Mauritian food. It’s great to see different cuisines being featured. Mauritian food is a blend of Asian cuisines with a Mauritian twist. The Bol Renverse is a bowl of rice served upside down filled with chicken, shitake mushrooms, choi sum, Mauritian sausage and topped with a fried egg. Delicious.
Our next stop was my favourite, the Iberico Burger. Made by Black Acorn, it had to be one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. It’s a blend of Iberico chorizo and ham minced with biodynamic, organic beef, topped with roasted peppers, crispy onion & homemade spicy sauce. I opted to have mine topped with Mature Cheddar cheese but other choices were Goat’s Cheese, Stilton and Good Old American Cheese. I’m drooling as I write this, it was soo good.
It might be hard to top that but the Tasty Jerk chicken next door was awesome. I loved that they listed all the ingredients on the walls of the place. Chris, the owner, was a great guy, full of smiles and made some of the best jerk chicken and spicy beans and rice.
We’d heard about the duck confit burger but nothing can prepare you for it. The Frenchie Bistro specialize in this burger and it is amazing, served with truffle honey and melted goat’s cheese along with a red relish was divinely rich and decadent. Last night they were only serving the burger but in the future they’ll be serving frog wings (which I CANNOT wait to try), duck fat chips and honey duck confit legs.
After all that rich food, it was time for a bit of lighter fare and so we moved onto Love Fresh Vietnamese. Founder Nam is all about traditional Vietnamese food and doesn’t use anything artificial, MSG or flavourings, as he says, “Great food needs no help.” He makes an awesome chilli oil which we sprinkled liberally on everything. I loved the prawn rolls and the sticky pork belly they were serving last night was awesome. Additionally, Nam says all his food waste goes to a group of friendly chickens in Peckham who kindly donate their eggs when possible.
What a night! Great food and, did I mention the open courtyard which is dotted with tables and chairs? There’s also a live DJ and bands play on occasion. The Artworks Elephant is right behind Elephant & Castle station and open everynight until 11pm, late on the weekends. Elephant & Castle is lucky to have this on it’s doorstep.