"Delivers on its food but falls down on atmosphere on this occasion"Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
There is no magic formula for launching great pubs but there are some companies that seem to do it better and more often than others. Unfortunately, even those companies can be fallible. As fans of both the Anchor and Hope and the Canton, we were expecting big things from the Camberwell Arms on our visit to the family’s other gastro pub on Camberwell Church Street. However, what we found was a hectic muddle of tables chucked together in the front bar, a shut off back room (on a Sunday afternoon?) complete with stacks of chairs and a spread of po-faced ‘ladz’ dishing out attitude to the sound of shocking hard house. Had the manager gone off on holiday and left a new barman in charge to come up with the equivalent of a house party while the parents are away? Hopefully that’s all it was.
The one positive was the menu. Serving from the semi-open kitchen, the pub did provide us with a fine meal on a second visit – when we found things were a lot quieter, though still lacking the atmosphere you want from what is an aesthetically pleasing pub. The roasted chicken we ate was excellent and worked out at great value split between two of us. The pub has a reputation for its food and the changing menu takes advantage of seasonal produce for its modern European cuisine.
With the Hermit’s Cave, the Storm Bird and the Bear all nearby, there are other alternatives to The Camberwell Arms. Its food tops the list of Camberwell pubs but we didn’t see much evidence of other charms to pull us back in.
T.A.O reviewed Camberwell Arms on Fri 05 Jun 2015