Randomness Guide to London - Differences between Version 9 and Version 8 of Khamsa, SW2 5UT
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This small Algerian restaurant on Acre Lane in Brixton serves traditional Algerian food, imaginatively cooked and presented. Although they're unlicensed, they do allow BYO.
The space is compact. The upper floor is laid out in café style with seating for around 20 people, separated from the small kitchen only by the counter. The downstairs area is more intimately arranged, with thin hanging drapes and couches, and would be a pleasant venue for a private party.
itsbruce and Jen visited on a Saturday evening in November 2010. From the starter menu of cold "salads" — hummus, baba ganoush, broad beans with lentils and mint, cooked carrots with cumin and coriander, and so on — we chose the two-person selection, which gives you eight dishes for £12 photo (individual dishes are priced at £3.50 each).
For a main course, itsbruce had hout fi razma (£10.90), a salmon and couscous dish. The salmon was lightly steamed with a sharply spiced sauce and sliced almonds, still in the foil. Jen had lamb khefta with olives and chickpeas (£10.90). Both dishes were much appreciated.
Dessert options include a wonderful selection of sweets, pastries, and baklava, all prepared in house and intricately decorated. We shared a selection of five for £6.50 photo. The total bill for two, including mint tea and bread, came to £46.80.
The service seemed genuinely friendly and welcoming, although the chef was a little nervous when he saw itsbruce taking photographs of the food; apparently, some blogger had recently incorrectly identified the khefta as being made of pork, and their regular Muslim customers boycotted them for a period until the confusion was cleared up.
Accessibility: The toilet is in the basement.
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