Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Albany Cafe

Not the lamb curry; potato & sweetcorn fritters from a couple of months back (forgot my camera today)

Behind an unprepossessing facade lies one of Deptford's best kept secrets - the Albany Cafe. From the busy market square outside there is very little to indicate the presence of an ace caff tucked away behind that rather ugly brick front. I've often thought they should consider putting a board out listing their daily specials, in order to tempt more punters in, but perhaps they don't need to.
Not that it was particularly busy when I went there today for my lunch, happy to take advantage of the autumn sunshine in the lovely garden behind the cafe.

What I like best about this place is that every time I go, the menu is different. They seem to change the menu daily - cooking just enough for that day so that if you are a bit late for lunch and something is popular, it will have sold out. Hence the food is fresh, and the options are varied, which is so important to get your customers to return regularly.

There is always a hot vegetarian dish, and usually one or two meaty dishes - today was a choice of lamb curry with rice, or honey & lime glazed chicken, or a roasted vegetable bolognese with spaghetti. There is always a homemade soup choice - chick pea today - and they also had some snacks on offer today, which were fishy or veggie fritters with sweet chilli sauce.

There are sandwiches, jacket potatoes and a range of homemade cakes as well as ice-creams, and the usual selection of hot and cold drinks, bottled beers, crisps and so on.

The portions are generous and the prices are very reasonable. Today I had a large plate of lamb curry with rice and salad, and a glass of orange juice, for just under £7. The service is always friendly and efficient, and it never seems to be so busy that it's difficult to find a seat.

When the weather is good, the garden at the back offers a lovely quiet place to sit and enjoy the sunshine - another well-kept secret among locals.

My only minor criticism is that the main room can be a bit noisy - especially if there are children running around which sometimes happens - and when the weather is overcast, it can be a bit gloomy too. Overall, though, a little gem of a place and one that will get me returning time and again to sample something different each time.


Jake said...

Went down on your advice and was delighted to discover not just a great cafe but a theatre attached. For despite moving in around the corner, we had no idea the albany was there...

Anonymous said...

Glad to have been of service! The Albany website has details of its events, there is also a great 'unplugged' night for music once a month I think (see the link in my sidebar). In the past the theatre has hosted some very famous bands as you will see from the site... However it does need to improve its marketing a bit!