New (possible) restaurant - cast your vote


Personally I don’t eat out for lunch as I work away from SE23 and usually too busy at weekends.
Sausage and mash doesn’t really float my boat - far too easy to make for myself esp as I have sacks of spuds lying around and I always freeze extra gravy from roasts.

What I would like to see and I have given some thought to myself would be a smoke house/bbq. I went to a supposedly great place - the Blues Kitchen last week and it was rubbish and I could do better myself - at home that is as I know nothing about business and running a restaurant. Smoked ribs, slow cooked brisket, chicken wings etc… That I would go out for…


As a cook who plays around with chefery, I am loathe to admit that I’ve discovered frozen mash potatoe. It is sooooo good. Creamier then a ricer can achieve, perfectly seasoned and ready if 3 minutes.

BBQ. Now you’re talking! I can guarantee that would bring all the boys to the yard… from SE23 and beyond!


I invested in a Moulix a few years ago. It really makes fantastic mash (with butter, cream and a dollop of truffle oil) but it is a pain in the rse to use so potatoes just get mashed in our house.

BBQ, well I was born is SA so a braai/BBQ would be awesome.


A smoke house would be utterly amazing!


Why not have cotletta and then pasta the next month and the. Burgers si nobody gets bored and then paulines ice cream for afters😃


A different theme each month would be great I think & happy to share my ice cream supplier with @fabiodebe :slight_smile:


Sorry for the radio silence… and thanks for continuing to share your thoughts!

A lot of things we can easily cook at home end up being eaten out… burgers is probably the biggest case no?

Very good point about how summer friendly bangers and mash is. But on the flip side I find it a good option for the little ones, who very often have bangers and mash or chicken goujons when eating at a pub with the family…

I have thought about varying the theme over time, but I think it would make it harder to stand out as a destination for food. Unless the theme was that you eat what’s in season, and then create a menu around that.

I also quite like the concept of not having a menu, but instead you come to my ‘kitchen’ and I feed you whatever is fresh… but for that I’d want to be the main chef and my skills are not up to that level.


How about something like this…and this is very much how I’d do by the way so clearly wouldn’t cater for everyone… I’d go smokehouse, it’s the closest thing to universal apppeal right now and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. The slow cook movement is gathering pace and makes good use of the ‘cheaper and tastier cuts’ getting more expensive as a raw material due to demand but still cheaper as it aid carcass balance. I’d strike up a partnership with a local butcher for provenance, of which there are a few, and offer ribs, pulled pork and brisket, with limited sides, probably a combo dish to stuck to the one dish specialist theme. Add homemade hot sauce as a usp (along with locally sourced meat) and you’re away. The food prep is relatively straight forward and high volume and would minimise waste, it’s a popular cuisine and becoming more so, throw in a range of hot sauces (many types of chilli now available home grown in the U.K. -further provenance) and I think that’s a recipe for success. I work for a major supermarket so could always dig out some supplier contacts when you get going.


By this I presume you are not doing the cooking?


A suggestion may be to continue with your original idea but to have a rolling series of ‘specials’ every week i.e. BBQ etc and gauge which ones work. That way your bread and butter, as it were, is a staple whilst you find out what else works and go from there. Finding other people to work with you pop up style may work. Speak to Chris Bear at The Butchery, he does very good smokery work.


I wouldn’t, no… but on the concept of “come and I’ll sort you out whatever I found at the market” then I’d need to be. I went a couple of times to Pipsdish in Covent Garden who do that, but I don’t think it’s there anymore


Thanks @James1P. What you say makes a lot of sense and there is an ‘environmental’ element to it (to a certain extend at least) and that’s what I want in the business. Whether it’s using cuts normally not used (for example, I love offals but a single-item tripe/offals shop would be taking it too far!) or sourcing truly locally, according to the most sustainable farming and agriculture, etc.

And then there is the health aspect. I have dramatically reduced the amount of meet I myself eat, and I see it more as a treat than an everyday part of my meals. I don’t know much about smoking but I’ll have a look into it for sure. I suspect that sticky ribs and all the glazing normally used contain an insane amount of sugar, and that’s a no-go for me (sorry @Pauline ;)).

But smokehouse goes into the shortlist…


I dont use any sugar in my glazes at all - just some nice honey from my mates bee hives or some maple syrup. That is exactly my issue with a lot of commercial rib places - overly sugary marinade which means you can’t taste the smokiness.

Now I cant wait to get one on the go!


Agreed. I don’t think I’ve ever used sugar unless it is to balance an Asian flavour. In those cases the sugar used isn’t excessive.

Happy to share my smokey maple marinade recipe for ribs if I get a %age of the sales. :wink:


Now there may be commercial reasons for doing it this way but from my own smoking experience, which is done slowly, then there doesn’t need to be loads of sugar in the sauce. DM me if you want some detail but expect to do quite of bit of experimenting to crack this. The result is worth it though and I believe would sell well.

ETA, I see @starman has cross posted in agreement. Am not sharing my recipes though as a lot of reverse engineering involved :slight_smile:


My view is think of something that would make people travel to from outside of SE23, as I think the market here isn’t big enough. We go to restaurants in Dulwich or Peckham such as ToastE.D. or the Begging Bowl, but currently I’m not sure there’s anywhere I’d travel to in FH. (Not that I don’t like them or go to them but I think their appeal is local and convenience.)
Also on the idea of different themes Platform 1 in Dulwich is very good, get guest chefs. But I wonder if they struggle to make a name for themselves because of constant change.
Personally was very impressed with Fowl Mouths the other night, not only was it good food, but original. And think people would travel for that …maybe a partnership would be in order…


I think the pool of people in Forest Hill is large enough on its own (the space is quite small anyway!), but then of course having something unique would drive more people for at least some time.

For sure this thread is giving me lots of food for thought (no pun intended!) and made me realise that I know absolutely nothing about smoking, so I’m up to be lectured by @Brett @starman and anyone else who fancies an excuse for some burnt end and what not!


Being vegan, I’m afraid none of these appeal. I’m clearly out of step with everyone here, but just thought I’d post as a representative of the tiny but growing band of people consuming plant-based diets, so there’s a cross-section of views. Apparently a mock fried chicken bar opened in Hackney a couple of months ago, called Temple of Seitan (actually next door to a butcher shop), and press reports are of it having long queues going up the street (which it apparently still has).

Anyway, that aside, it seems that there are a number of eating places in Forest Hill and not all of them well attended. I remember the curry house in Dartmouth Road (forgotten the name) was generally deserted before eventually closing, even though it did decent food. I don’t know if local residents just don’t eat out much, as the population is sizeable. I agree with the person above that it would be a courageous investment and you are wisely undertaking some market research.


Another vote for sushi! Also, think about what kids will eat. There are plenty of people around during the day / early evening in SE23 with kids, who would like a family-friendly restaurant. Not sure if your cutlet idea would appeal to all ages in the same way that pasta does. Also, my kids LOVE sushi…(just saying!). Good luck with your venture, it’s always fab to hear about new businesses in the area


Second the suggestion about having vegetarian/vegan options.