Chalkpit, Streatham, SW16

Streatham is awash with good pubs but another to join this happy band
is nonetheless welcome.

Chalkpit is newish, opening its doors last October, arriving not before time in the spot previously occupied by Beyrouth.

The problem with this predecessor wasn’t the food, other than it was a little pricey, but it lacked atmosphere due to the sheer size of the restaurant and slightly odd war-torn-Lebanon inspired décor.

Not the official line but that’s what it felt and looked like.

Chalkpit has managed to take the same space and completely transform it, adding warmth, ambience and most important of all, makes each section work individually as well as a whole entity.

This stylish space is first and foremost a pub, specialising in craft beer and cocktails – happy hour is from 4pm-7pm during the week.

Chalkpit, SW16

Unlike most pubs, it manages to strike a balance between adult visitors and smaller ones.

Family-friendly pubs are more common these days but the stress of visiting those that aren’t – try changing a toddler without a baby-friendly toilet, with appropriate change table – live long in the addled memory.

Chalkpit’s facilities are excellent, a spacious loo, high chair that your child won’t fall out of, and a really good kids menu – all aspects that make for a happy family visit.

Little surprise when I discovered there are baby-focused classes run from the pub on weekday mornings.

I took my little one for an early evening tea on the hottest day we had last week.

She was tired before arriving, and I wondered whether it was such a good idea but she loved Chalkpit.

Plenty of sights and sounds to keep her amused, dinner passed with lots of laughter and I’m pleased to say, good behaviour on her part.

Don’t worry, me and her dad managed to behave ourselves as well.

An experience so joyous that we’ve pledged to dine out more mid-week while the weather is so nice.

Lured there with the promise of an after-work pint, my husband was impressed with the craft beer on tap, many of which this anorak hadn’t come across before.

The cocktail list is impressive, with all the on-trend cocktails available, alongside no doubt even cooler ones that have passed me by.

Chalkpit’s idea of sustenance is barbecue food, which works well with beer, but as we were there on a Frickin Thursday, there was only one way for my husband to go.

Named, I assume, in celebration that it’s nearly the weekend, fried chicken and a drink is £8.

Seriously good chicken, crispy fried, fabulously seasoned and no grease to be found. The only negative is that it’s somewhere in-between a starter and main course size so fries were ordered and a never-ending bowl arrived.

Keen to try something different, my claim was firmly staked on beef brisket, barbecued for 14 hours on the bone prior to dicing.

Flavour-wise, it was on point, with a smoky, yet sweet combination of spices that I couldn’t quite identify.

Probably just me, it felt a little odd eating squares of meat between two bits of bread, I’d have preferred it served as ‘pulled’ pieces of meat, making it easier to eat.

The homemade barbecue sauce was good and pickled cucumber finished the dish off.

So what of the little one’s dinner – she nicked bits and pieces of our plates and helped herself to Margherita pizza.

She only ate half and I ate the rest. It was seriously good.

If I were really critical, I’d point to the sweetness of the tomato sauce, not that I didn’t enjoy it, but if as I suspect, said sweetness was artificially
created, this is perhaps not necessary in a children’s meal.

There are no pizzas for adults but the flat bread selection works just as well.

Barbecued masala chicken, kimchi and blue cheese, smoked salmon and a vegan version are served in small and large portions for £7 and
£12 respectively.

Paloma was not a guest of Chalkpit

Chalkpit, 20-21 The High Parade, Streatham High Road SW16 1EX

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