Handmade Food, Blackheath: Restaurant Review

Does eating food from a sustainable business taste better?  Trends report that consumers are more and more looking to spend their money and associate with brands that present ethical sustainable practice and credentials, a way for consumers to also play their part in the process. For Handmade Food in Blackheath, their ethos is all about the food and people, sourcing seasonal ingredients from local farms, somewhat giving these guys the edge when it comes to finding a local ‘green’ food joint.

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Handmade food is a café and restaurant based in Blackheath, a short walk from the spacious Heath and bustling village.  Recently given 4 stars out of 5 by TimeOut London, its described as having ‘the ambience of home but with much better food.’

 

The green credentials of this place are inspiring.  The team works hard to have as little impact as they can on the environment, to reduce food miles and only cook with seasonal produce, a menu that changes on a monthly basis based on the availability of local produce.  They work tirelessly on waste management to maximise recycling and are moving into low impact cleaning methods. They use biodegradable packaging, all of their plastics are vegetable protein and the takeaway cups are compostable, but still, bring your Keepy cup along if you’re popping by for a coffee.

 

The vibe

This environmentally productive grounding gives the restaurant a somewhat homely and earthy vibe, echoed in the design and decor.   The downstairs deli and open kitchen create a warm atmosphere breaking down the ‘them and us’ barrier, a great spot to grab a coffee and brunch in the day, while the walk up the stairs into the restaurant rooms, almost as if you are in someone’s house, is pretty special and provides a communal yet very private dining experience.  The colours are simple, with Farrow and Ball like colour-ways and decorative mirrors, macrame and other homely titbits.

The vibe is relaxing. Soft soulful jazz wafts from the speakers and the low hum of chatter from other diners makes this place a real gem to visit to enjoy a meal with a loved one or friends and family, our desire to return is pipped as I’m sure yours will be too.

The food

All the produce is free-range, seasonal and mainly from small growers and producers in the UK.  They have the best cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy and Mons, delicious charcuterie from the Brindisa and fantastic biodynamic, natural and organic wines from Les Caves.

The small plates start at £6-£8, I enjoyed and became somewhat obsessed with the artichoke soup, fresh yet heartily earthy, topped with tapenade spread croutons.  My dining partner chose the smoked haddock arranchini with creamed leeks and chives –  crispy, dense, subtle complimentary flavours.

For mains, I devoured the duck breast served with tenderstem broccoli, sweet potato fondant, crispy parsnips and cherry and malbec sauce, a well-balanced blend of subtle flavours to compliment the tender, meaty richness of the duck.  My dining partner selected the spring lamb rump with sweet potato boulangere, glazed heritage carrots and red wine sauce.   Large plates start at £14.50.

The restaurant offers a humble selection of deserts from sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce, to white chocolate cheesecake with Neal’s Yard crème fraîche and hazelnut praline, I thoroughly enjoyed the latter while my dining partner had some delicate crumbly fun with the Pavlova, creamed mascarpone topped with forced rhubarb.

The cafe

Handmade café food is freshly cooked every day. They offer delicious bold flavours and take the time to make things properly.   Breakfast is served until 3:00pm and the lunch menu commences from 12:00 pm which changes weekly.  You can also mix and match anything in their counter to create a meal of your choice.

The wine

The wines are natural, organic or bio-dynamic and are hand-picked by Les Caves de Pyrenne.  The wine list offers new and old world wines from £22.50 a bottle to £37, sparking £27-52.

Book

Handmade Food, Blackheath http://www.handmadefood.com 0208 297 9966

Open Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 10pm, Sunday 9am – 9pm

To make a reservation for the restaurant send them an email and include a contact number, desired time and the number of diners.

Cost about £30-£35 per head with drinks and service.

 

Rosanna Head and friend were guests of Handmade Food, Blackheath.

 


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