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22 Half Moon Lane
The chef may be Italian & at least one waitress is French, but the food at this Herne Hill tapas bar is quintessentially Spanish. Several dishes are unadulterated classics – chilled gazpacho,
tortilla, chorizo baked in cider – others have a ‘nueva’ twist, such as seared tuna with fennel & orange, or croquetas made with goats’ cheese, spinach & pine nuts. The crujiente de
morcilla is especially popular: crisp little parcels of gorgeously savoury black pudding, a northern Spanish favourite. Braised rabbit with lemon, mint & manzanilla olives is another
innovation. The predominantly Iberian drinks list contains various sherries, plus a selection of decidedly un-Spanish cocktails. There’s a relaxed, homely feel to the corridor-like dining room,
which leads to a small patio garden that’s perfect for balmy summer evenings.
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22 Half Moon Lane
020 7095 9922
Herne Hill Station 227m
North Dulwich Station 1km
Brockwell Park 578m
Dulwich College 1km
Mon-Fri 5-11pm Sat-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Back with a new look and feel, Herne Hill’s Number 22 has the potential to become a well-established local favourite. Large windows, tastefully coloured walls (bold yellow in the back part of the restaurant, acts as a perfect foil to the light blue in the main part), a banquette around the left side and a beautifully tiled bar in the centre create an overall sense of warmth and welcome. This is somewhere one could easily pass any part of the day or indeed even the whole day. Owner Chris Adnitt and his team seem to have hit on the right formula, creating a relaxed vibe accompanied by good food and drink. Although heavily influenced by Spain, the broader impression one forms is of a wide range of Mediterranean influences. As with tapas (or sharing dishes generally), it is rarely the case that all of them succeed, but there were some absolute stand-out options at Number 22 and full credit to the restaurant for its original and inventive selection of options. Our group of six was able to sample almost all of the possibilities on the menu, working our way from snacks and tapas through to desserts via fish and meat mains plus vegetable sides, all of this accompanied by a range of sherries and wines. Among the highlights were the morcilla balls (somewhat akin to black pudding – although this would be doing the dish a disservice), rich and meaty, enhanced by a pleasantly light apple sauce and a tiny hint of spice. In addition, the pulpo (octopus) was amazing, juicy and flavoursome, simple and effective. We also highly rated the chicken (fragrantly flavoured with lemon and lime) and the side of two kinds of cabbage (very different – and it worked). Other dishes, however, were somewhat more pedestrian, and in particular, the tortilla – which ought to be the staple of any Spanish style establishment – was disappointing. Other positives though would include a lovely selection of cheeses with which we finished (Monte Enebro, a wonderfully creamy Spanish goat’s cheese, featured here, and would be on my dream cheeseboard) and also the well put-together wine list (we loved the Amontillado sherry and the Bobal red in particular). Pricing is very fair and given everything else, I would only expect Number 22’s reputation to grow
Food + drink: 5
Number 22 is a really special little restaurant. Everything is so well executed and the service is thoughtful, friendly and utterly professional. It is so rare to get all these things in a small local place and I feel very lucky to have them on my door step (hence the review).
On my last visit I had some unusual but amazing dishes – including braised ox tail, Lambs kidneys and Baby Monkfish with pancetta as well as classics like Crispy squid and Chicken Croquets. The wine list is well worth a mention too – we had a very classy Valpocella but every wine I have tried on their list has always been excellent.
I guess Herne Hill isn't one of those locations you would go out of your way to visit unless you live or have friends there but in my opinion Number 22 is worth the effort.
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