157 Lordship Lane
020 8299 9598
If you’re in the market for organic goods that are farm-fresh but still city chic, Franklins Farm Shop is indeed a one-stop shop. Selling seasonal fruit and vegetables fresh from farms in Kent, English cheeses, and Rookery eggs, it’s an East Dulwich dweller’s dream. But if you’re not in the mood to channel your inner Jamie Oliver, leave the wicker basket at home and wander across the road to Franklins Restaurant, where they take all the fresh produce from their farm shop and do the work for you.
The dining room is all about ambience. Arched doorways, soft lighting, rich mahogany tones and linen tablecloths give the space an upmarket, luxurious feel, but paper menus make it a little more casual and you can still get a glass of wine for £5.
Franklins Restaurant is custom made for a refined palette, the type that craves a pickled walnut or cured quail. It’s very much up the high end of Lordship Lane’s price scale, and rightfully so. The food is fresh, wholesome and meticulously prepared. The meals take a while to come out, but this is not a problem when the wine-glass is half full (as it should be).
We began with the deep fried brie. Ordinarily I find the idea of taking something really high in fat and then deep frying it hugely alarming; this can only be the reason I passed 20 odd years growing up in Australia never encountering one of the ubiquitous deep-fried Mars bars that haunts every suburban fish n’ chip shop. But for haute cuisine, I make an exception. And it was, dear reader, very much worth it. The entrée was divine with the sweet, slightly tangy tones of the pickled walnuts enhancing the robust flavour of the cheese.
For the main I opted for the plaice, once convinced plaice was not too “fishy” in flavour. My efforts to find a neutral, non-pungent fish were perhaps in vain since I failed to notice on the menu that it was a whole plaice. It came out all skeleton and scales; any fresher and it would have been plucked straight from the sea and served up on my plate. I exaggerate though, it was well cooked and served with a light, zesty sauce making it the ideal antidote to the heavier first course. My dining companion ordered the steak, which she complimented highly. Though, be sure to order a side salad because the hearty in height but tiny in circumference beef fillet came out looking very lonely on its vast white plate.
The desserts were exceptionally good, beautifully presented and very good quality; knowing you’re eating fresh food from idyllic farms in Kent completely warrants a three course meal in my book. The menu is based around seasonal ingredients, which ensures the food is fresh but also means trying new things that you perhaps wouldn’t seek out. I’m told the daintily presented rhubarb fool and shortbread is just lovely. The apple and date crumble is the ultimate winter comfort dessert with creamy hot custard cutting through the acidic undertone of the apple. It’s a perfect end to a decadent dining experience.
2 X Deep fried brie, truffle, rocket and pickled walnuts: £7.50
Fillet of beef and horseradish: £21.50
Whole plaice, fennel, olives and green sauce: £16.50
Green salad: £3.50
Rhubarb fool and shortbread: £5.75
Apple and date crumble: £6.50
4 X Sauvignon Touraine: £5.00 per glass
FOOD (1-5): ****
AMBIENCE (1-5): *****
VALUE (1-5): ***
DISABLED ACCESS: yes
DISABLED TOILETS: yes
PRE-BOOKING: advised for weekends.