The news that The Real Greek restaurant is opening a seventh branch in Dulwich Village in the listed former Café Rouge premises will no doubt be greeted with approval. It brings the Village’s eateries and cafés back to 11 now that the Crown & Greyhound has finally reopened. However, the quality of restaurants within a mile and half of Dulwich Picture Gallery, which includes all of East Dulwich, Herne Hill and parts of Norwood tends to be on the poor side.
Of the 17,538 restaurants in London listed on TripAdvisor, only The Shed in Friern Road, East Dulwich is in the first one thousand places, being placed at number 643. Virtually all the so called ‘gastro-pubs in the area do badly for the quality of their over-priced food, indeed none are listed in the first 12,000 places. Although some diners might regret the closing of Le Chardon in Lordship Lane after a long innings, the good news is that London’s No 1 restaurant on TripAdvisor is only 2 miles away – perhaps surprisingly, in a formerly unlovely area north of Camberwell Green. It is named Zeret Kitchen and is an ethnic restaurant. No doubt talented independent restaurateurs are put off by the high rents demanded in all parts of Dulwich.
But how reliable is TripAdvisor? Apparently restaurateurs and hoteliers ignore it at their peril and certainly one restaurant, near Tunbridge Wells, is taking the author of a bad review to court for damages and is tipped to win its case.