One of Streatham High Roads more recent upstarts, Chalkpit is a sprawling bar and restaurant tucked under the overhang down the Streatham Hill end. A huge, glass-fronted space, from first impressions it’s a surefire champion for the best people-and-dog-watching spot in town, but how did the food and drink live up to the facade?
Straight out of the blocks they’ve passed the Negroni test - a highly scientific system where I ask myself, “is this a good Negroni?" Thence follows a Yes/No response, with bars able to accrue bonus points based on a range of factors (concentration, balance, garnish) and whatever external contributors I see fit in the given instance. Objectively speaking, the Chalkpit Negroni (£8) was stiff, cold, well pitched in bitterness, garnished stylishly with a slice of dehydrated orange. But I’ve also had a clusterfuck of a journey over so it gets +1000 points on top of that just for being alcoholic.
The food here is also eye-wateringly good. We opt for one of their speciality potato buns, stuffed with yakitori-grilled chicken and yoghurt and accompanied by a segment of pickled peach (£8). The mixture of crisped potato bun and juicy chicken makes for a very fine first bite, but don’t feel afraid to mash some of the pickled peach in there for a sharp kick to round it out. The beef brisket flatbread (£8.50) offers some seriously sticky burnt ends topped with cucumber pickles that I all but smash my face into, and an additional side of crispy potatoes (£4) drizzled in homemade mayo barely makes it past the five minute mark.
The second round of drinks sees us taking a stab at Chalkpit’s extensive selection of craft beers. As someone who regularly orders an Amstel to avoid this kind of decision-making this is tantamount to torture, but I eventually settle on a Nebula from The Wild Beer Co. (⅔ for £4.80). Big hops and a high fruit content make it an accidentally fantastic combo with the Neal’s Yard cheesecake (£5), made with four types of cheese (cheddar, Winslade, Gubbeen and fromage frais) and actually tastes more like cheese than it does like cake.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If you like eating, drinking and looking at things, Chalkpit should be winging its way to the top of all of those lists. With panoramic views over the Streatham pavement, and food that is so soul-quenchingly delicious that you might just shed a small tear at the thought of finishing it, objectively speaking, it’s really rather good.