Sparrow nests in Lewisham

A couple who met in the kitchen at St John are opening their first restaurant, Sparrow, in Lewisham at the end of March.

Terry Blake and Yohini Nandakumar say they will use seasonal British meat and vegetables and cook their favourite dishes – which gives them a pretty broad canvas.

Between them they have notched up experience at Bao, the Merchant’s Tavern, Pollen Street Social and The Square in London, in addition to Fergus Henderson’s venerable St John. Blake has also cooked at restaurants in his native New Zealand, while his wife, whose family is Sri Lankan, has run supper clubs from home.

“We chose the name Sparrow because it reflects the kind of food that we make, like a sparrow we aren’t specific to a place or country. One week we might put a classic Italian dish on the menu and other times we’ll make a crunchy Malay-style salad with whatever is in season,” says Nandakumar.

Lewisham may be a clever location for a new restaurant: a busy town centre, it has yet to match the dynamic dining scene of nearby Peckham. Sparrow will open on March 28, offering dinner from Tuesday to Saturday with brunch at weekends, when appam – Sri Lankan fermented rice-batter pancakes – will be served.

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