Image with thanks from http://love4culture.com/
After 3 years living in New Cross, it's time to move on. I'm sure my parents will breathe a sigh of relief after two muggings in a year - look, one was in Brockley alright? - but as rough round the edges as New Cross was, there will be a lot of things I'll miss having in close proximity. Smokey Jerky, virtually next door was my go-to stalwart for excellent jerk chicken.
Brockley Market is really taking its stride. I visited on their opening week and only once more last weekend, which I'm kicking myself for because now I'll actually have to get a bus to get my mitts on another one of Mike & Ollie's fried mackerel wraps. Wrapped in flatbread, the mackerel is fresh and smoky. Nestled with garlic and cauliflower puree, the wrap is finished with a bundle of red cabbage, a plucking of mint leaves and ribbons of carrot. Crunch is added with a handful of seeds and it is gloriously messy, sat as I was in the winter sunshine taking huge bites and avoiding globs from dolloping onto my shoes.
Though in Deptford, I spent many a Saturday lunchtime walking over to Panda Panda for one of their banh mis, still the best I've tried in London. Crunchy pickled vegetables and a few slivers of chilli formed a base for this sandwich, stuffed to the gills with pork. Of the bubble teas pineapple was my favourite, and my friends went nuts for the milkshake options, to be made with whichever chocolate bar you choose. Chaconia's is also in Deptford and often is a time I've craved their Trini curry-stuffed rotis.
Recently, a new shop called The Allotment opened up on the New Cross Road negating the need to spend vast quantities on insipid fruit and vegetables at the Sainsburys near by. Well set out within, the fruit & veg was well priced and fresh.
Lastly, it is with sadness that I read that The Montague Arms is under threat. This ramshackle old building that once had 'COACH PARTIES WELCOME' emblazoned across its side is an absolute gem. Inside, the place is decorated with fairy lights and relics like stuffed deer heads and old diving suits. I was a regular on a Thursday night when beers were £2.20, and the Sunday roasts were homely and plentiful. The old couple who ran it were always smiling and pleasant, I admired them for their energy so I was saddened to read of their passing. Fingers crossed for the best outcome.
If you're still not convinced of New Cross' awesomeness you need to check out New Cross is Better Than New York.Also, Goldsmiths' video on South East London is worth a watch.
Goodbye New Cross! I'm only going a few miles down the road to East Dulwich but I'll miss it nonetheless.