★★★★| Sparrow, Lewisham
In a no man’s land part of Lewisham, there’s a restaurant doing amazing and fabulous things with Sri Lankan food. It’s Sparrow.
At the end of the road that is Lewisham High Street, behind the Lewisham Shopping Centre, Sparrow sits all alone, facing the DLR and an unsightly massive construction site.
But step inside and feel the charm and warmth of the staff, and enjoy the food that is different, delicious, and worth the trip.
Me and a friend went for a Saturday brunch meal on what was one of the hottest days of the year. We immediately ordered cool drinks. I had the delicious pineapple, melon and grapefruit drink that hit the spot, sweet and colourful and yummy – and only £3.50. My friend had a smoothie that was very milky and white, with coconut, with condensed milk and raspberries thrown in, a bit too heavy for my tastes but he enjoyed it and drank it within minutes.
I had seen a photo online of their pancakes so I knew this is what I was going to have. They were coconut pancakes with peanut caramel and pineapple salsa, with a dollop of sour cream on top, and it was superbly delicious – like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. It’s the bits of pineapple with small bits of peanuts scattered about that give this dish the wow factor – and at only £8 I would definitely order it again. My companion enjoyed his chicken and curry pastry. It was like a pie only smaller, and he said that the crust was nice and light, and it was delicious, and a deal at £8 (it’s not alway on the menu, Sparrow does tend to mix up their offerings from day to day with daily specials).
We would’ve been remiss if we didn’t try out the typical Sri Lankan dish Appam. It’s a type of pancake made with fermented rice and coconut milk, and comes shaped like a bowl. While I had a plain one, it is recommended that ingredients be put into it as this is a very typical Sri Lanka dish, and Sparrow does offer up various combinations of eggs and other ingredients to include, and not costing more than £6.
Sparrow also has quite a unique dinner menu. From fried rabbit (£7.5), fennel and blood orange salad (£7), roast pork belly with harissa (£12) and then the malt duck with chilli jam (£13.50) all of which will probably knock your socks off. Along with Sparrow’s nice selection of drinks, Sparrow is perhaps one of the only reasons to go to Lewisham, unless you live there, and if you do indeed live there, you must pay a visit to Sparrow. It delivers delicious food at the right price.
2 Rennell Street, Lewisham, SE13 7HD
0208 318 6941
Dinner: Tue – Sat: 6-10pm
Brunch: Sat – Sun: 10-5pm
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.