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Two Friends in Kennington – i due amici:
I’m still finding my feet in Kennington and this week, while things are quiet, I’m trying out some of the local restaurants and cafes. Kennington is a little short on brasseries and bistros like the lovely Ivy Brasserie in Kensington. But, what it lacks in posh places, it gains in friendly and quirky ones. Having tackled Sally Whites (across the road) I thought it was about time I went to the place recommended by my neighbour. I due amici (which means ‘the two friends’) is a rather scruffy cafe with a great little garden that is promising for the summer. You’ll find a menu that is about as eclectic as it gets with a sandwich and salad list, a tribute to Mexico with a selection of burritos, some pasta and pizza and three very exotic sounding Persian stews..
I was curious. It was cold and wet outside and a fragrant stew seemed just the ticket. There’s no licence here, but they serve good soft drinks (Luscombe and San Pelligrino and an amazing range of smoothies for somewhere that doesn’t have a tag of being a ‘health bar’.
Persian stews are all £7.70, including rice and a side salad. For that you get a substantial bowl of stew and helping of rice, enough for even the hungriest of lunchtime diners and a rather unremarkable side salad.
The stew hit the spot perfectly! Rich with parsley and coriander, chives and fenugreek, full of lamb, kidney beans, spicy and steaming hot. The restaurant manager warned me that there was a preserved lime in the mixture – but advised that I could easily eat it (which I did). In theory the rice should have been saffron rice, but I think it was actually a beautifully steamed basamati that worked perfectly well for me.
When I arrived at about 1.30pm, the cafe was busy, though there wasn’t a wait for a table. It’s clearly very popular with local workers and residents – and with a lunch offer set menu for £6 including a soft drink, that’s not suprising. Sadly the Persian Lamb Stew, Khoresh Ghormeh Sabsi, wasn’t part of the deal. I asked why the cafe was serving three Persian stews and learnt that the owner is Iranian. He also owns Doost – a Persian restaurant across the road that is on my wish list for when I have a friend staying – and Amici, the rather posher Italian restaurant a few doors down.
Even if it wasn’t part of the £6 lunch deal, this kind of quality food and a drink for under £10 isn’t a bad deal at all.
I due amici
310 Kennington Lane,
Kennington SE11 4QD