It is no easy feat for a subterranean space in London to subvert expectations. We’ve become increasingly accustomed to the formula for ‘speakeasy’ style establishments. It serves Gremio De Brixton very well that most people paying them their first visit will be arriving with a jaded expectation of what they are going to find. What they will actually find is one of the most breathtaking spaces in London dining.
The address reads; The Crypt, St Matthews Church. That is the whole Crypt. It is to the restaurants immense credit that at times during our meal we completely forgot about the vast scale of the space. It is one of those good problems, and one that few London restaurants encounter; the effective management of a large space. The décor and the composition of the tables in the dining area make one of London’s most expansive eateries also seem like one of it’s most intimate. Some credit for this phenomenon must be given to the attentive but relaxed service; our server never felt out of arms reach. The tapas and sharing menu is extensive. Thankfully the knowledgeable staff were on hand to direct us and put together a well-balanced group of dishes with the sautéed prawns standing out.
On the night we visited, the heavens opened. As we hurried past the entrance to Brixton Market we could barely contain our smugness watching the milling crowds wait for tables to open up at the various pocket-sized restaurants under the arcade. As word spreads people will be happy to find a respite from cold, the rain and incessant queues.