Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hand Made Food, Blackheath

Call me old fashioned, but I expect quite a lot from a £7 slice of tortilla. It had better do some mad good unicycle tricks or something. Unfortunately, the tortilla at Hand Made Food can't cycle for shit, but as a lunch: pretty tasty. After happening upon their pop up cafe at Cockpit Arts Open Studios in Deptford last weekend, I decided it was high time to pay a visit to the proper shop.
At the pop up, HMF hijacked what looked like a school staffroom, set up camp and began selling a selection of salads, pies, pastries and cakes. I went for the salads combo for £6.50 - they can do to the humble tomato what I could only dream of, but it still felt pretty steep. I had the Jamaican style slaw, a Moroccan tomato and bread salad and a bulgar pilaff with spiced yoghurt and roast tomatoes. Oh, and a bit of tomato focaccia with it too. The slaw was not particularly Jamaican, but light and crunchy and fresh, the tomato salad was great - sweet tomatoes, plump olives and chunks of crusty bread that soaked up all the juices. 
And the pilaff was so good I thought it might have been laced with cocaine. The yoghurt was in thick splodges throughout and was wonderfully smokey, the pilaff itself was delicately spiced and strewn with fresh herbs, and slow roasted red onions were soft and sweet.
We ended up flirting outrageously with this slice of Victoria sponge - at £3.50, little pricey, but we succumbed and I have to say it was bloody lovely, thick vanilla cream and fresh raspberries with a tasty vanilla sponge - add a cup of tea and if that's not true happiness I don't know what is. 
Anyway, the place itself is a cheery shop in the heart of Blackheath, with a selection of delectable treats on display on the ground floor. You sit upstairs or outside at HMF, the upstairs is lovely - bluebell wallpaper, battered metal jugs of water and huge jars of sugar are on wooden tables so you can sit with a pot of tea and watch the world (or the Holland and Barratt across the road) go by for hours.
Ok, the pic below is the potato and garlic tortilla, around £5.50 to eat in, but something the waitress mysteriously described to me as 'The Special' was £7.15. Intrigued, I went with that. Turns out what turns a slice of tortilla into 'The Special' is some lettuce. Quality lettuce, but definitely lettuce. The tortilla was delicious though - perfumed with roasted garlic and that's all it needed. It was perfectly crispy on the outside and the thinly sliced potato was stacked high amongst the egg and was moist and silky. Now, the lettuce was very nice, but wasn't worth over £1.50 extra. 
Come to Hand Made Food for lunch, whether you get a sausage roll, the lamb moussaka or a slice of coffee and cardamom cake, it'll be made from the best possible ingredients and be freshly made with care - the food won't be a particularly cheap date, but it might just be the best you ever had. 
Hand Made Food
40 Tranqil Vale
Tel. 0207 297 9966
Opening Times:
Mon: 09:00 - 17:00
Tues: 09:00 - 14:00
Wed-Sat: 09:00 - 17:00
Sun: 10:00 - 16:00

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