Friday, 20 May 2011


We have no Michelin stars, very few, if any, tablecloths, and a severe shortage of bathrooms, but the Brixton food scene just gets better and better. There’s a Japanese place on the way, and today we met the eager, nervous owners of another likely June arrival, this one a burger joint featuring Ginger Pig meat. There’s a new bakery too, getting fresh and very credible baguettes every morning from a French guy a few miles away. The unassuming, but excellent Thai place, where I’ve had zingy larb-like salads and spicy stir-fried chicken with a fried egg and Thai basil, was just written up by the Guardian’s lead restaurant reviewer, Jay Rayner.

But perhaps the most exciting development took place on Wednesday, when a very serious gelato maker started churning out a product that already deserves whatever superlatives might be used to describe it. The dozen or so flavours currently on offer are classic, conservative even—hazelnut, strawberry, zuppa inglese—but are made with a perfectionist’s eye for ingredients and balance. The fruit is fresh and seasonal, the pistachio from Bronte in Sicily. Even the cones don’t taste like an afterthought.

Giovanni, the owner, server and gelato-maker, looks delighted, if a bit surprised, by the local response. And apparently Jay Rayner has already been by.

I’m guessing that I live a bit closer than Jay, just a four minute stroll up the road. All the better, as I think Giovanni and I will be seeing a lot of one another.

Lab G (Laboratorio Artigianale del Buon Gelato)
Granville Arcade, Brixton
Late morning until 17:30 Su-W; late morning until 10 pm Th-Sa

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