And I Think To Myself, What A Wünderlust World | Wünderlust At The Big Red, 30 Deptford Church Street, London SE8 4RZ
As Saff mentioned in her recent Dirty Bones review, we very rarely re-visit restaurants. There are an obvious few exceptions (MEATLiquor, The Diner, Dishoom and any of Russell Norman‘s places) but The Big Red at Deptford isn’t one of them. ‘So why did you return?’ I hear you mutter disapprovingly. Well, yes the pizzas weren’t great and the service was a tad haphazard but for some reason we were drawn back. Perhaps it was the pull of that old double-decker bus.
I think this fondness is mostly routed in the oh so rare ‘quality time’ that I spent there with my two children. That and the fact that the space occupied by the Big Red has been taken over by Fleisch Mob (AKA Mark and Helen Edwards). Fleisch Mob came about through a love of cooking and all things Austrian crossed with the ever-increasing street food trend. They ‘want to mix it up a bit and show Londoners how the Austrians like to eat, drink and party!’ We’re all for that.
Wünderlust, as they call it, is ‘a bar and restaurant created with love…with amazing eats and local brews.’ The beers are very local, all brewed within a four-mile radius and they serve a nice selection of natural and unfiltered wines to boot.
Decor isn’t a million miles away from how it was, there is less of a hippie vibe, more of a hipster feel. The bearded bartender added to the illusion. They still have a cinema out the back (in an old ship container) although it’s closed for a refurb. Of course the old red double-decker takes pride of place and that is exactly where we sat, upstairs and at the back where the naughty kids go. A special mention to our brilliant waitress, I bet she just loves servicing the top deck of a bus – not!
There wasn’t a cocktail list as such, you have to read the drinks menu from behind the bar – which from our elevated position was impossible. So if in doubt, ask the waitress. My Negroni was so devilishly strong and as I was driving, I nursed it all evening. Saff, because it was Halloween, went for a too-easy-to-drink Deadly Kiss.
There were only three of us this visit, the youngest was out trick or treating so I took advantage of being with my son and shared a deliciously gooey, yet simple Wood-baked Camembert, toasts and spiced apple chutney (£7). Saff stayed with the Austrian theme and ordered the healthier and lighter option of Beetroot and vodka-cured salmon, fennel and apple salad (£7).
Now Oliver has a very healthy appetite, so once I explained that a good schnitzel should cover the plate, there was nothing else on the menu that he wanted. The English Rose veal schnitzel (£14) was served with a crisp potato and cucumber salad and a lightly spiced cranberry and apple compote (and the schnitzel nearly covered the plate.)
My 49 day-aged South Devon flat-iron steak (£16), was so well cooked with an incredible punchy meaty flavour. Saff was a little disappointed with her Oktoberfest beer-roasted Gloucester Old Spot pork knuckle (£14), served with a very creamy sage mash, pea broth and little cubes of black pudding. Partly because she’s not a big fan of creamy mash but mainly because she wished she had ordered from the Austrian inspired street food menu.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time for desert (just a spicy watermelon cocktail for Saff) as we had to rush off to pick up my daughter. Wünderlust is at the Big Red until New Year’s Eve this year, so we have a few weeks to take her back to try the street food (or a Sunday roast) and even catch a film in the new and improved cinema. We really hope that Wünderlust have their lease extended into 2016. There’s nothing quite like it, such an interesting space with so much potential. Fingers crossed.
30 Deptford Church Street, London SE8 4RZ
Opening hours: Thursdays 5pm to 12pm / Fridays 5pm to 2am / Saturday 12pm to 2am / Sundays 12pm to 9pm
(Wünderlust Sunday roast from 12pm until they run out,
bar food served until 8pm)
Book a table here
Nearest stations: Deptford Bridge DLR (1 minute walk)
Deptford British Rail (2-3 minutes walk)
We ate as guests of Wünderlust, this fact does not affect our review in any way, we always write with complete honesty.