Places To Eat In London: Canova Hall, Brixton
Brixton is somewhere I’ve never spent much time in. I think, before last week I’d only been twice (once to see Maroon 5 play life at the O2, and once to a trip to Pop Brixton to drink beer and eat dumplings all afternoon) which is silly, considering how close it is to where I now live in Borough. So, when I was invited to have dinner at brand new restaurant and co-working space by day, busy bar and dinner spot by night Canova Hall, we decided to make a Friday night of it, going to dinner after drinks with friends at the Trinity Arms.
The space was big, beautiful and buzzing. While there was a great atmosphere for a bar (this is the sort of place I would not mind an evening out at, and I’m more of a snuggled up at home with wine, takeaway and Netflix, rather than going out kind of person!) one of my big recommendations is unless there is a big table of you celebrating, I’d go for brunch or lunch to have the food, as it was a bit too loud to hear each other over the music, having dinner for two! (Immy reviewed their bottomless brunch earlier in the month, and her post shows a totally different side to the space in the daylight – and some absolutely delicious looking food!)
We went for two large glasses of house wine which our server kindly switched out for a pitcher as she said it made more sense that way. The wine was okay, but I’d plum for one of the pricer by the glass options up on the wall, as they’re all relatively inexpensive and with good pizza and good pasta, you need good wine!
I’d had a few bad pizzas recently, so it was an utter relief to be served a classic margarita with a crisp, chewy base, the right amount of classic tomato sauce and melted mozzarella, just with the hint of fresh basil on the side. This is a good, classic pizza, and I’d say what you should go to Canova Hall to brunch on. I demolished the whole thing, and sides, and would happily have these brought to me if they get on Uber Eats or Deliveroo!
While the pasta with meat sauce was not the best homemade pasta I’ve ever tried, it was fresh with a generous amount of sauce and cheese in a good portion. Much better to satisfy your carb cravings if pizza is not really your thing (yes, apparently there are people like that out there!) than a bowl of boiled supermarket pasta with some jar pesto stirred through! And look at the beautiful crockery.
We got a side each: he had the fried chicken with hot mustard, watermelon and jalapenos, and I had the triple cooked chips with ‘ndja tomato ketchup. The fried chicken seemed like an odd thing to be on the menu, it did not really go with the Italian theme of the place, but the goujons were tender and crispy, and the hot mustard was the perfect accompaniment. Our only qualm was that because the mustard was in a layer on the bottom of the dish, our final piece of fried chicken at the bottom was too doused in it to eat! The chips were gloriously crisp, but I could not taste any spicy sausage that was supposedly in what was otherwise ordinary ketchup. They were beautiful, though, so don’t let that put you off ordering them!
We were pretty full by this point (I’m usually too small to manage too many sides, but he insisted!), but you simply cannot miss out on Canova Hall’s only dessert offering: a bag of bomboloni, little, hot, sweet Italian doughnuts served with generous amounts of local jam and Nutella for dipping. Just look at them!
We had a great evening with some great food, in spite of the whole loud and crowded thing. Go for lunch, or check out their bottomless brunch, and then perhaps take a meander around Brixton market for some Caribbean treasures I have not even begun to explore yet!