Elephant & Castle has now offered me my newest favourite place – a small Mauritian venture. For what felt like ages, there was practically nothing great, apart from Nando’s. My colleagues and I more than occasionally complained about the lack of eatery choices. Good choices were a bus ride away in either Waterloo or Borough/London Bridge. Our prayers were finally answered with the opening of South London version of Shoreditch’s BoxPark – the Artworks Elephant.
New street food restaurants gradually opened and now it is packed with an internationally varied pop ups.
Marcel & Sons
Marcel and Sons is a small Mauritian eatery serving comfort food that are just too tasty for the quantity they serve. If not for a colleague, I would have missed this little gem.
Located inside a shipping container, much like all the shops and restaurants within the Artworks Elephant, this tiny restaurant has a simple yet beautifully tasty menu with four items to choose from: Bol renversé (upside down bowl), Bao Pao (steamed filled buns), Jai (vegetarian version of the bol renversé) and Niouk Nian (steamed dumplings). I have tried almost everything on the menu but my favourite is the Bao Pao (pictures further down).
The fluffy steamed buns with crispy beef, pickled cucumber, spring onions and mazavaroo aioli are simply amazing. It’s a messy and colourful snack full of flavours from salty to sweet. My only reservation is that the portion of the Bao Pao is too small, you need an extra bun or something else afterwards. My second favourite the bol renversé is a traditional Mauritian dish consisting of layers of rice, veggies and stir fried chicken served into an upside down bowl , and topped with a fried egg. What makes this dish an impressive one is the way it is plated. It used to be my only choice until I was convinced by my friend to try the steamed bun.
Since I first visited the Artworks, the only place I used to get my food from was the Greek restaurant – the Athenian. The stall has a clean and cool atmosphere along with friendly staff. You can tell they offer great food as there is a long queue that always form outside. You have a choice between a wrap or a box. Wraps are made with Greek pitta filled with the topping of your choice: halloumi, chicken, meat, chips, plus a choice of tzatziki, tyrokafteri (spicy feta dip) or creamy souvlaki sauce. With time the service declined a little (maybe because of the number of customers) since is not as it used to be. The wraps are not as filled as they used to be. But at only £5 who can complain?
Beza the Ethiopian
Another place worth trying is Beza the Ethiopian selling food anyone can eat, from vegans, to vegetarians and meat-eaters. A typical Ethiopian meal comes with different side dishes. Here you have a choice between a serving of rice or injera (sourdough-risen flatbread) with your choice of topping and sauce. The service is welcoming and the decor quite pretty.
It’s going to take a lot more than the Artworks Elephant to make the area near Elephant & Castle station look attractive, trendy and fashionable. But there are definitely on the right track. Now the only thing left is to refurbished the run down shopping centre!
Have you been to the Artworks? If not head down there to give this place a go and let me know what you think!
As always, thanks for reading.
- Marcel and Sons – Unit 18, The Artworks House, Elephant Road, SE17 1AY
- The Atehnian – Unit 16, The Artworks House, Elephant Rd, London SE17 1AY
- Beza Ethiopian Food – Unit 14, The Artworks House, Elephant Road, SE17 1AY