Restaurante Santafereno, SW9 8PR
- 020 7733 0864
- Units 60-62, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PR
- Mon: 7:30am-5pm; Tue-Thu: 7:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat: 7:30am-11pm; Sun: 9:30am-5pm
Colombian cafe/restaurant in Brixton. It's possibly the largest venue in the Brixton Village Market arcade, with seating for 40 outside and a similar number inside.
The interior has two seating areas, one alongside the small bar and another in a quieter space to the side. Wooden tables covered with linen cloths and plastic protectors seat 2-4 people on folding (albeit fairly comfortable) slatted wooden chairs.
On a Sunday morning visit in October 2011, itsbruce tried the calentados (£6), a breakfast dish of rice and beans, plaintain, scrambled eggs, arepa (corn bread) and grilled beef, which came in a very generous serving photo. The beef was tender but one of the fattier cuts, while the rice and plantain were simple and unspiced. The scrambled egg was the most interesting component, spiced with chives, peppers and onion. itsbruce was encouraged by staff to flavour the meal with some of the green salsa which is available fresh in a small pot on every table; the clean, sharp flavours of the salsa did complement the dish quite well. With the addition of a coffee, the bill for breakfast came to £7.
When Kake visited on a Tuesday morning in March 2020, there were just two other customers at 10am, but others wandered in and out while I was there. By 11am there were half a dozen of us and some fairly lively conversation, and it continued to fill up as lunchtime approached. Music was playing, not too loud. Service was friendly, and they didn't mind me sitting there for an hour or so working on my laptop.
My empanada (deep-fried pasty filled with beef and potato; £1.50) photo was microwaved slightly too enthusiastically, making it overly hard around the edges, but was good aside from that, with a well-proportioned filling of soft potatoes and pleasantly-chewy pulled beef. Fresh lulo juice in water (£3) was fruity and not too sweet.
There is free WiFi via the market system (registration required but they don't validate your details), and at least four exposed plug sockets in the side room.
itsbruce's verdict: It appears to be permanently busy and popular with the local Colombian community.
Accessibility: A tiny step in (about a inch). No toilets of its own but there's a hand-washing station just inside the door.
- Photos of the menu as of March 2020: page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5
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