41/42 Brixton Village Market, Coldhabour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PS
Brunch for two: around £20
Monday to Wednesday 10.30am – 5pm
Thursday and Friday 10.30am – 9.30pm
Saturday 10am – 9.30pm
Sunday: 10am – 4.30pm
Brixton village is a collection of restaurants, cafes, butchers and greengrocers with a strong Caribbean and Latin American slant but also a great variety of global cuisine. One of the busiest eateries here is invariably Senzala – the owner is Brazilian as are some of the chefs who can be heard rabbiting away in Portuguese as they stand over the open hot plates in the kitchen. Senzala’s raison d’etre is crepes – in particular crepes made from buckwheat flour which are light yet with a firm crisp texture. They have a multitudinous selection of ingredients lending the ability to “create your own” as well as a menu with equal amounts of sweet and savoury options.
There aren’t many tables (about 10 inside and outside) and there are even fewer tables for two so as a couple you may well end up sharing with others but the clientele are relaxed and completely unforeboding. (Having said that, the edge was taken off our meal by the canoodling and perpetually snogging cbeebies presenter lookalikes on the table next to us – steer clear of sharing a table with young lovers). The waiting staff are attentive and friendly – they could easily double as dubstep djs, resplendent in skinny jeans and hightops. Amongst the clientele there are a fair few fading club stamps a remnant of last night’s nocturnal excursions. The decor is colourful, mismatched, reclaimed. I would recommend the outside tables which allow you to watch the mix of people, small dogs, homeless troubadours and all of the other strange characters that wander around Brixton village at the weekend.
The crepes range in price from £4 to £7 and all seem very hearty – I think that even the most hungover of visitors will leave Senzala satisfied. I opted for the Full English which seemed very popular with the customers around me – it consisted of a buckwheat crepe loaded with cheese, garlic mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and crispy bacon. There was also a perfectly cooked organic egg perched on top. The crepes are served along with Senzala’s “secret” special sauce which has a nice balance of sweet red peppers with a slightly fiery cayenne pepper aftertaste. My girlfriend opted for Asparagus Plus which was loaded with ham, egg, a cheese blend with mixed herbs, all wrapped around beautifully cooked fresh asparagus. This was all washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice and a house-made thick American style milkshake – both come highly recommended.
Senzala is certainly worth a visit – I recommend it for a leisurely weekend brunch followed by a fantastic flat white from Federation coffee.