Llewelyn’s – Herne Hill

After many years as ‘Pullens’, the popular restaurant next to Herne Hill station changed hands last year. The couple who ran the restaurant decided to retire from the business and a new owner took up the reins, refurbishing the interior and re-opening as ‘Llewelyns‘. We’d been intending to try out the new place for some time but finally got round to it last month.

The first thing to say is what a brilliant location it is for a restaurant – right outside the station entrance in the pedestrianised area, really convenient and with plenty of outside tables for warmer days and evenings. The refurb has really given the place a fresher, cleaner feel with both interior and exterior having an appealing and welcoming appearance. While Pullens was very much a cafe/bar/bistro, open from early until late, Llewelyn’s is an out and out restaurant serving lunch and dinner and open from midday, with the menus changing slightly for both every day.

We went on a Friday night – it was packed, so we felt sure it must be good and we weren’t disappointed. We started with some bread and olives – perfectly fine. Then I went for the vegetarian option – I’m not a vegetarian but I often choose veggie food when out – it’s often very telling about just how good a restaurant is. This turned out to be a very tasty dish of coco beans, courgettes, roast tomato and crumbs. Mrs D. went for the grilled whole plaice, which was soft and fleshy and perfectly cooked with extremely more-ish chips!

We weren’t massively hungry, so resisted the very attractive looking desserts. Overall, we were really impressed with the place – it had a lively atmosphere and the food, which I would characterise as ‘modern British’, was excellent. Prices are mid-range with starters around £7, mains generally £16-18 (with one or two more expensive options), and desserts £3-7. Wines start from £21 – Mrs D. chose a white Rioja with an unusual label, called Gran Cerdo (big pig). Bizarrely, the pig appears to be eating money – isn’t that in a Dali painting? Anyway it tasted really good.

Llewelyn’s was a great – we’ll definitely be going back, especially for the roast chopped mustard rabbit when it appears on the menu next.

Llewelyn’s, 293-295 Railton Road Herne Hill SE24 0JP – booking recommended

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