Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Frank's Cafe & Campari Bar or A Night Out in Peckham

Ok, so it would take a lot to make me go to Peckham, voluntarily, for dinner on a weeknight. A lot. A whole staff outing and someone else paying, is what it would take, more or less... Luckily that was what was on offer last Thursday when we decided to venture to Frank's Cafe and Campari Bar, a pop-up restaurant cunningly situated on the 10th floor of the multi-storey car park.

Finding it is not an issue. It's the car park. Getting to it, you run the gauntlet of the kids on bikes doing death-defying speed stunts around the unsurprisingly empty car park, up and down the ramps, avoiding - but only just - unexpected vehicles that have the temerity to be parked there. In the car park. Anyway, once you're out of the car on the 8th floor and you've made it up the next two up to the roof, your next challenge is to make it across the roof without the winds actually sent from hell blowing you over to a splattery death on the high street below. A second's hesitation and you're just another statistic - albeit rather a novel one and a great foodie-challenge way to go.

Having done so, you can then aim for one of the communal benches; people will be accommodating and shove up if you ask nicely. Once you've clocked your surroundings and ordered a drink - the campari list includes bicyclettes (see below) negronis, etc but look out for a light rose which lends a touch of summer to the blackening skies - you're good to go on ordering.

The menu's great - something for everyone and designed as dishes to share rather than hog, though I recommend if you're ordering the vegetables with anchoiade, order two. If you're ordering the ox heart, it comes salad-style so make it three. You might like the sound of crab on toast, charcuterie platters, salads, more vegetables with hummus, grilled sardines. It's all good, quickly cooked and arriving at will with nothing really overstepping the £5 plate. And you can keep it coming until the food actually runs out. That's my kind of restaurant.

With the darkness really setting in, the skyline does start to look quite beautiful; people milling trendily at the outer walls, drinking sophisticated drinks and smirting - you can see why it's a huge hit. There's nothing quite like it, certainly not in Peckham (hardly Food Central, if it doesn't mind me saying so) and people are packing in.

If you fancy going, make it sharp-ish as it closes from 30 September. And two tips - wrap up warm and for God's sake, whatever you do, take the lift down to the bottom on the right hand side of the building. The shiny silver one that goes up and down like Eeyore's balloon - not the old, crappy one that's liable to send you screaming for the wee-soaked stairwell, which in turn will send you screaming back to the elevator. It was eventful, that's all I'm saying...

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