Chef Michael Hazlewood and Manager Alex Thorp brought a little freshness to Lordship Lane with their new restaurant and wine shop, Toasted. The stripped walls and exposed brick create a relaxed old-world feel that makes for a pleasant dining experience. Over 200 bottles of wine adorn the walls on simple wooden shelves and the wood fire oven in the back of the dining room spreads delicious aromas throughout the space.
I loved that you can see the chefs making your food from the dining room. It is a more personal dining experience and it attests to the freshness of the food. In the second dining room there are three 300 litre tanks filled with wine directly sourced from Spain, the Loire Valley and Southern Rhone. A glass is only 2.55 and you can take some home in reusable bottles!
I visited Toasted on Wednesday for lunch and was greeted with an iced coffee, the perfect way to escape the summer heat. It was perfectly frothy and creamy. The chocolate made it creamy and the rum gave it a little kick.
I started with a green bean and yoghurt salad. It had a wonderful texture. The toasted almonds added a crunchy texture. The green beans were crisp and sweet. The salad was topped with a light and creamy yoghurt dressing that did not drown the vegetables, but complemented them.
Next up were courgettes. They were delicately sliced and beautifully arranged. The capers adorning the courgettes provided a rich, intense flavor and the lemon dressing added a nice tang that stays on your tongue for a bit. Everything was so fresh and prepared with care.
After my meal, I got to sit down with chef Michael Hazlewood, better known by his childhood name, Hazle. He was previously a Sioux chef at Attica in Australia and he said that is where he draws a lot of his inspiration from. Hazle has lived in London for two years and worked at Soif and The Green Man & French Horn before opening Toasted on 18 June , the first restaurant where he has been held the position of head chef. “There is a lot more access to the world here, but life is harder here,” he said.”I miss the people from home, but I prefer it here.”
All of the items on the menu are made with the best ingredients available. Hazle said that much of the produce is hand picked from a market in France and shipped over immediately. “The main focus for me is freshness,” he said. “It’s all about the ingredients.” That is why the menu changes so frequently. It is driven by the ingredients.
“Everything needs a bit of texture, a but of crunch. None of our food is heavy,” Hazle said. “It’s all about clean flavors and purity.”
Toasted is located at 38 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, SE22 8H. They are open from 8:30am – 12pm for breakfast, 12pm – 3pm for lunch and 6:30pm – 10pm for dinner.