Upstairs in Brixton is one of those places I’ve been meaning to go for ages, my sister’s flatmate is the chef there, so it was more of a ‘we must go to the restaurant Oisin works at’ than ever having heard of it. Tucked away on a side street off Acre Lane it’s easy to just walk past the residential-looking door. It’s small and intimate, located in a converted flat, with a bar area which we retired to after the meal.
Onto the food, Oisin had kindly sent out little mugs of pumpkin mousse, a cute little winter warmer, like a soft pumpkin duvet. I ordered the ox cheek parcels, I love a good cheek, and these were like little distilled packages of Irish stew in a ravioli wrap. Oisin also makes the bread, so we feasted on a remarkable soda bread with oats and treacle, as well as a lovely focaccia. Then came the mains, I ordered the wild halibut, sweet potato and trompette; something magical happened with the intense black mushrooms and the little onions and I passed my fork around trying to get everyone to have a go. The halibut itself was firm and moist, with a nice crispy crust. Next up we got a delicious little surprise in the form of a plum & lime sorbet, which kind of induced a bout of food hysteria between me, my sister and Moonface. Dessert was a fantastic prune and armagnac ice cream, with a crunchy nut biscuit. I went for the food-pig option and ordered the cheese platter, which arrives with a variety of Oisin’s handmade biscuits.
The cosy atmosphere is enhanced by the relaxed attitude of the staff; fine dining can sometimes be a bit of a stiff experience but Upstairs is informal and fun. With a changing seasonal menu, I can’t wait to unleash my inner food-pig, Silver if you’re reading this call me and we’ll go!