"Could Camberwell be the next Shoreditch?"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Camberwell is not an area associated with hip bars or cool art galleries. Its lack of a tube station mean it’s not easily accessible to those north, west, or even east of London – particularly those who hate straying away from their comfort zone. It was therefore to my great surprise that I happened upon Funky Munky, a rather charming pub situated below a gallery entitled the Arts Bar.
After a long journey that encompassed a rush hour tube and a packed bus we were tired and in need of nourishment. We ordered an onion and feta tart, a halloumi and roasted vegetable tortilla wrap, and chips. I ordered two glasses of wine also, after which the barman lowered his head and gave me a shy smile before explaining with complete embarrassment that they only had one wine glass left in the entire pub. He then vowed to find a second glass from the gallery upstairs.
Bemused, I wandered back to my seat and looked around at the mixture of young couples, trendy Japanese girls and groups of friends quietly dining. Could Camberwell be the next burgeoning neighbourhood a la Shoreditch? All the pointers were there: it’s rough round the edges, is still affordable to those on low incomes i.e. students, artists and freelancers, and Camberwell College of Arts is on Peckham Road which is encouraging a plethora of small exhibition spaces to pop up.
The barman sauntered over to our table and smiled nervously once again, before admitting he couldn’t find any more glasses. The reason for their lack of glassware was that a rather raucous private party had taken place the weekend before, where everyone was drinking wine and all the glasses got smashed. I couldn’t help but laugh and ordered a Corona instead; I was graciously returned the money for my drink.
The food was well above average for a pub; tender chunks of halloumi with roasted peppers and mushrooms in a tortilla wrap, chunky chips which lacked any of the grease they so often have, and a feta tart that would make any Café Rouge chef blush.
Perhaps it was the charming smile of the barman or the fact that they were playing Hot Chip in the background, but I found the atmosphere at the Funky Munky highly endearing. Our meal was very tasty and came to under £20. If only I lived south of the river. Then I could go back and flirt with the barman.
Leila reviewed Funky Munky on Thu 04 Mar 2010