Zero Degrees, SE3 0TJ
- 020 8852 5619
- 29/31 Montpelier Vale, SE3 0TJ
- noon-midnight Mon-Sat; noon-11pm Sun
A restaurant and microbrewery in Blackheath, just off the Heath itself and a few minutes' walk from Blackheath Station. There are other branches in Bristol, Reading, and Cardiff, and they used to also own the Zero Bar in Bexleyheath, but this has now closed.
Note: Zero Degrees will be closing temporarily for a few weeks from 25 July 2013.
The restaurant has a large ground floor and a mezzanine. It can get quite busy, but it's never usually been necessary to wait more than a few minutes for a table (Pete G and companion were seated straight away on a busy Saturday night). The mezzanine can be quieter, though it isn't always open (Ewan was called back for venturing up there on our Saturday afternoon visit). There are tables outside in the summer. Service is brisk but friendly.
The food is simple and mostly pretty decent, specialising in pizzas, kilo pots of mussels, and 'gourmet' sausage and mash. Appetisers, salads, pastas, and side orders are also available. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven, and have good crispy bases with an interesting range of toppings. Pete G can particularly recommend the porcini mushroom (£8.25 as of February 2009), which comes with red onion, smoked cheese, and a white wine and garlic sauce, and this was the one Ewan had on a February 2009 visit — creamy, rich, perhaps a little too oily, but excellent nonetheless. Garlic and rosemary pizza bread for an appetiser (£3) was tasty without being oily at all. A rocket and parmesan side salad (£4) was a good sized portion with plenty of parmesan shaved over the top and some cherry tomatoes and olives in it as well.
The steel vats of the modern microbrewery are visible in a side room off the restaurant. The beers are in a US West Coast micro tradition. The regular brews are a Pilsner (good fresh flavour, with zippy Czech Saaz hops, though Ewan found it to be rather bland in taste), a Pale Ale (copper coloured, malty, with American hops), a Black Lager (which Pete G found disappointingly bland, but Ewan greatly preferred to the Pilsner), and a Wheat Ale (tasty but a little sweet to pair with some food), and all priced at £2.80 a pint as of February 2009. They also have one or two specials each month: on Pete G's last visit, this was an excellent Viennese lager; on the previous occasion, it was a pomegranate beer; and on Kake's May 2011 visit there was both an Irish stout (£1.45/half) and a banana/mango beer. Happy hours are 4pm-7pm Monday to Friday.
A takeaway service is available, and the beers are offered for sale in 5L and 50L party kegs.
Accessibility: Step-free at the entrance and through to the bar. Not sure about steps to seating, as I sat outside. Toilets are up a flight of stairs with a sturdy handrail on one side; not sure if there's an accessible one on the ground floor too.
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