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The Camberwell Arms, London

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We had a really good dinner here last night. It's owned by the same people who run Anchor & Hope in Waterloo and the Canton Arms. It's no reservations, but we got a table with ease at 7.45.

The kitchen really knows its stuff. I had home-cured middlewhite ham as my starter with a crunchy Beetroot salad and caraway bread. Meltingly tender ham with creamy fat and just a hint of smokiness. The OH had lobster broth which I tasted and was gorgeous - very intense lobster flavour with a punch of scotch bonnet. Almost Thai in flavour. My friend had fresh cannellini beans with buffalo mozzarella and tomato - another nice plate of food.

My main was equally impressive. House goat merguez with a chickpea purée, yoghurt and roasted green pepper. Gorgeous gutsy flavours, with some whole chickpeas for texture. My friend had chargrilled Cornish squid - perfectly cooked but he was coveting our merguez!

For dessert, we shared a really intense and delicious chocolate cake with roasted banana ice cream. We all loved this. Should have ordered another one but quite full by this point!

With two bottles of house white, a cognac (the only off note - it came with ice for some reason), coffee and a mint tea, the bill was a very reasonable £40 a head (with a tip - which isn't added automatically. V good). The other nice touch is iced tap water supplied without asking, and good, sourdough bread).

Loved this place. Noisy, though. Stripped floors and high ceilings look good but nothing to absorb the sound. Also the kitchen is open which probably adds to the sound. But I was seriously impressed with the food coming from that very small kitchen!

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  1. Great review, greedygirl - must try this next time I'm in town :-)