Franklins, East Dulwich.

This is so, SO overdue. Franklins is our local restaurant, a leisurely 10 minute stroll from our front door in fact and oh, how lucky we are. It’s been said before and I don’t mind saying it again, this restaurant is a little gem to have ticking away in such wonderfully close proximity. Of course, this is not our first visit but for some reason, I never remembered to take the camera up until this point and a review without a picture is a bit pointless I think. Franklins is not a fine dining resaurant, it is ‘just’ one that serves consistently good grub and pays attention to detail. Good freshly baked bread is one of those details.

That bread may not look hugely exciting in the photo, but it is warm and seedy with a wholesome flavour and a crusty outside – I always find it a challenge not to scoff the whole lot before the first course arrives, which – surprise surprise – is oysters. We are addicts and that is the end of it. I don’t think you need to hear me talking about oysters again so we’ll move on.

To start, I had smoked quail with raddichio and aioli. Ohmygod. That quail is so intensely smoked it leaves a musky scent even after I wash the mitts I was using to chew every last scrap from its little legs. Yes, I was in a restaurant, but it was so very good. Fantastic aioli too, not overpowering but good and garlicky at the same time. Franklins has a way with meat – always loads of flavour and bold simplicity.

You can see that I plunged right in and demolished the whole thing. That radicchio is quite transformed by a good grilling.

Chris chose the crab tart, which really was that colour by the way, a perfect mixture of brown and white meat – a really strong crabby flavour. The texture of the meat was well preserved too.

For our main course, we both immediately pounced on the same dish, ox tongue with endive, snails and chorizo. We were drooling at the prospect. Oh no but, hang on a minute….where’s the snails and chorizo? That’s right people, Franklins made a boo boo. Quite a big boo boo really considering they left out two of the main ingredients. The waitress was very professional about the whole thing though, our plates were whisked away with the bare minimum of fuss, arriving back promptly adorned with bits of spicy pig and mollusc. From what we could gather the chefs were very embarrassed…

The ox tongue was beautiful, tender and melty with a fine blob of fresh, pungent horseradish on top. The chorizo was a very good one, spicy and rich, coating everything in its delicious oil. We felt the snails didn’t really add anything though. I don’t think they really taste of much anyway and you honestly wouldn’t have realised they were there – apart from the fact you could see them, of course.

Another thing that Franklins does really well – side dishes. I always order the seasonal greens and they always arrive perfectly cooked with just the right amount of bite and wrapped in a blanket of buttery goodness, well seasoned and slippery.

We thought about cheese and/or dessert but were too damn stuffed to contemplate it. We ambled the short walk home contented, slightly tipsy and really rather happy, as always.

Franklins Dulwich
157 Lordship Lane
East Dulwich
London SE22 8HX
020 8299 9598

Franklins on Urbanspoon

Category: Restaurant Reviews 22 comments »

22 Responses to “Franklins, East Dulwich.”

  1. Christie @ fig&cherry

    Franklins is a really cheap supermarket in Australia, so I was intrigued when I saw the post title in my reader! Then relieved when it was a review of a fabulous restaurant.

    Eating quail with the fingers is a must – restaurant or not!

    I’m not surprised you couldn’t fit in dessert :) Maybe just a little bar of Green & Blacks a few hours later… ;)

  2. Peter G

    Nothing beats a good meal at the “local” Helen…that’s quite an eclectic selection of dishes. I think the quail is probably my favourite…great write up.

    Peter Gs last blog post..Tea Cake with a Sticky Tangelo Syrup

  3. Johanna

    good bread and reliable side dishes are important in a restaurant that you visit regularly – should be simple but so many places don’t do them well

    Johannas last blog post..Lemony Dressing for a Quinoa Salad

  4. Katie

    Looks like you had a fantastic meal. We need more places like this!

  5. Lizzie

    Ahhhh those oysters look dribble-a-licious! I have a slight obsession with them too.

    Lizzies last blog post..Stuffed Bitter Melon

  6. kittie

    Looks like a lovely place – I might try to hunt it down when I’m next in the city!

  7. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen

    Sounds like a great little place! Thanks for the review! :)

    JennDZ_The LeftoverQueens last blog post..Finest Foodies Friday on Hold Until Next Week! :)

  8. nina

    This was very interesting…..we here in SA always eat ox tongue cold and pickled. It is part of every Christmas lunch in this part of the world. The butchers here have a saying that: ” In summer they wished every ox had 5 tongues and in winter 5 tails!”
    A good meal at a restaurant is a fine treat even though we all love cooking.

    ninas last blog post..Tomatoes filled with more tomatoes, ciabatta and mozzarella…

  9. katieZ

    If that’s pub grub… I’ve been to the wrong pubs!!!
    Looks fantastic!

  10. Ginger

    Looks and sounds wonderful, it’s such a joy to have good local places to eat isn’t it.

    Gingers last blog post..Thai Monday: Lemongrass Beef and Tom Yum Goong

  11. David Hall

    Your lucky to have such a top eatery near you Helen, looks class man!

    David Halls last blog post..Essential To Strip

  12. kate

    nice review. The food looks gr8 ! too bad i cant go n try some for myself !

    kates last blog post..Breakfast All Alone

  13. Matin

    I love ox tongue, especially if its cooked the way i like it:-) i dont know many people who like it though!!
    XX M

  14. Eve

    The food look so good! Your post made me so hungry. I have the sudden cravings for oysters! Yum

  15. Cynthia

    I understand, you wanted to keep it a secret, all to yourself for a little while, that’s ok :)

    Cynthias last blog post..A one-of-a-kind Chicken Curry

  16. Rachel

    I recently moved from East Dulwich and wanted to go here soo much before I left. Thankfully, I only moved to Brixton and after this post I’m definitely going to go soon. Perfect, local, seasonal, good quality cooking. Mmmm…

    Rachels last blog post..Lemon Drizzle Cake

  17. Ari (Baking and Books)

    This looks like a gem of a restaurant! I love it when places bake bread every day and serve unique, gourmet dishes like the ones you mentioned here.

    Ari (Baking and Books)s last blog post..Lavender Ice Cream with Candied Violet Petals

  18. aforkfulofspaghetti

    That all looks great – just my kind of food! Still haven’t visited the one in Kennington… reviews of that branch have put me off a bit, to be honest, so maybe I’ll make the trip down to E. Dulwich sometime…

    aforkfulofspaghettis last blog post..Mmmm….. Murano

  19. Jeanne

    That looks like a wonderful meal – and how lucky that this is your “local”! I love the look of that roasted radicchio, but it’s the ox tongue that really had me drooling. Interesting what Nina says about cold pickled tongue, because I lived in South Africa most of my life and the only way my mom used to make tongue was boiled, then sliced and served in a creamy mustard sauce – and we certainly never had it as part of the festive meal.

    Jeannes last blog post..Dark chocolate and orange pots

  20. Syrie

    Oh My god. This looks divine. I think I’m moving to London next year. If I do, I’ll see you at Franklins!!

    Syries last blog post..Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

  21. Food Snob

    Hi, I am surprised to see such good looking food in E. Dulwich. I live not too far away myself, and your critique is a pretty convincing advertisment…

    Food Snobs last blog post..Corrigan’s Mayfair, London

  22. Joan

    The food was so so, and severely overpriced, and the staff are extremely arrogant and rude. Will never go again!

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