Underneath the railway arches by Deptford station lies Buster Mantis, the latest in a growing number of bar/cafes popping up around Deptford station. Named after the first Jamaican Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante (one to remember for the obscure general knowledge pub quiz round), everything from the comprehensive cocktail list to the bar snacks is Jamaican-infused, jerked and spiced, representing the Caribbean roots of this family-run business.
By day Buster Mantis operates as a café with an ever-changing menu offering the best in locally-sourced food. If the bar snacks that we sampled are anything to go by (Jerk Chicken skewers, Saltfish patties and Jackfruit burgers to name but a few), it’s well worth a visit if you happen to be passing through. As well as the café/bar space, the second arch it occupies is a creative space taken over by local artists, pop-ups or film screenings; with the week’s what’s on’s scribbled across the interior walls.
One of its’ biggest USPs is the fact that at the weekend this place stays open until 3am, with the creative space at the back of the bar becoming an impromptu dancefloor and meaning that there is a genuine alternative to the sticky-floors-cheesy-music of Venue in SE10 once the pubs shut.
To keep you going through the night there is a comprehensive cocktail list with a number of Jamaican blends, and more spirit bottles decorating the bar than you could shake a stick at. We recommend the Superduper Malt, a sweet-and-spicy blend of Captain Morgan, Frangelico, Supermalt and Koko Kanu Coconut Rum Foam Top. Happy hours on cocktails also go on from 5-7pm throughout the week, so ample opportunity to sample a few! Failing that, there is always a Red Stripe on tap.