Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Garden Cafe, New Cross

Sitting right by a greasy spoon and a fried chicken outlet in the middle of New Cross, The Garden Cafe looks ever so slightly out of place. With it’s ivy covered front and tiled balcony, it looks more like it should be somewhere in the Mediterranean. I mean, I have definitely been hearing that New Cross is fast becoming the St Tropez of South East London (not really), but worry not folks, we are still quite firmly in SE14. 
The terrace sits on Lewisham Way under a handy roof and tends to be frequented by stressed students having a cigarette during term time and other locals in for lunch. Once you get in, the staff couldn't be friendlier, they make you feel like one of the family. The inside is spacious, with shisha pipes and other Turkish knick knacks on display, as well as the odd lizard dotted about the walls. By FAR the best part of the whole inside is the fact that the salt and pepper shakers are actually miniature Corona bottles with holes jabbed through the top.
The Garden has an extensive cocktail list, all for £5, which I have yet to see anyone actually order from, except me, which naturally had to be done for the purpose of this review. We sampled a Mai Tai and a Tequila Sunrise, let's keep things classic. They are served in big wine glasses with plenty of ice, they didn't have much of a kick but were nice and refreshing. They also do a selection of wine and beer, some disappointing milkshakes, and a selection of teas and coffees - including an Irish coffee for £3.80 which is pretty lethal in a "why-am-i-drinking-what-is-basically-a-mug-of-hot-Baileys-in-the-middle-of-the-day?" type way.

But it’s the food here that hits exactly the right "cheap and cheerful" mark. Being directly across the road from Goldsmiths University, it’s wallet friendly, jacket potatoes and a selection of freshly made sandwiches are less than £5. New Cross has some pretty strictly divided lunchtime eating options, most of the places nearby serve lunches comprised solely of either fried chicken and questionable "meat" kebabs or of quinoa and rocket - I'm looking at you London Particular and Cafe Crema - The Garden is different though.
Chicken Enchiladas are £4.50 and not exactly authentic, but packed with veg and chicken and covered in plenty of melted cheese - one of the best budget lunches you’ll find. They also have a selection of burgers, a cheeseburger and chips is £4.50, it's the only known cure for a hangover I have managed to find. Especially when coupled with a good old-fashioned G&T (£3.50). Or maybe a cheeky Mai Tai if you're feeling fruity.
The Garden also accommodates well for the vegetarians amongst you, Veggie Lasagne and Mousakka are firm favourites, as well as the Meze platters which include salad, olives, hummus, tzatziki, dolma (stuffed vine leaves), halloumi and garlic bread. Good enough that you don't even miss the meat (much).

They've recently started taking card payments which is a godsend in New Cross, Land Devoid of the ATM, so it is now the perfect lunch break cafe.

The Garden Cafe
29-31 Lewisham Way
New Cross,
SE14 6PP

0208 692 6357

Open Mon-Sat, 10am-9pm

P.S. Many thanks to my dear friend Daisy for her photography skills and cocktail company on this! Her blog is here, I urge you to check it out.

1 comment:

  1. yay goldsmiths garden!
    love this place
    so cheap
    xoxox gossipgirl (bron-bron)