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.
157 Lordship Lane
London SE22 8HX
020 8299 9598