ONA at Platform 1, East Dulwich

It is increasingly difficult for young, talented chefs to open up their own restaurant in London… which is why street food and market stall offerings are getting better and better. Passionate foodie and South Londoner Chloe Gounder-Forbes identified the need for a testing ground for chefs and started up Platform 1 as a way of showcasing a programme of inspiring cooks and their exciting inventions.

ONA at Platform 1

Platform 1 is found on Lordship Lane, a street in East Dulwich which is becoming increasingly foodcentric. For homemade pasta I can’t resist Burro e Salvia and Brickhouse Bakery is my go-to brunch favourite. Platform 1 is a little more unconventional, feeding diners with unique and creative cuisines. When I visited last month, Chef Marcelo Henriquez from ONA Chilean Kitchen was in residence.

ONA at Platform 1ONA at Platform 1

We started with a refreshing aperitif, a spicy ginger mule to get us in the mood for the flavours to come. Chloe encourages the chefs to offer a different five-course menu each week (priced at £35 a head), so locals can visit often and try a range of dishes. Our menu for the evening consisted of: Baked oysters with bacon & green salsa, Corn-fed chicken skewer with roasted garlic emulsion and tomato lime, Ceviche of mackerel with pickled radishes, avocado fried squid, ginger & lime, Slow-cooked 18hr beef, chargrilled to serve with mashed corn, raisins, black olives and pebre salsa. Then for dessert we shared the two dishes between us: Burnt marshmallow meringue with red wine jelly, walnut sponge, dried strawberries and Blueberry tart with honey cream and berries.

ONA at Platform 1ONA at Platform 1

Marcelo had chosen to bring his own crockery for the dishes, and the black really made each recipe stand out. Luckily it tasted as good as it looked… The recipes were clever and delcious, the chicken skewer took on a lovely barbequed aromatic hint whilst the ceviche had a punchy and addictive dressing. The main course was a high quality chunk of immaculately cooked beef with a caramelised edge and an accompanying mashed corn that made me really consider why I don’t use corn more in my own kitchen.

ONA at Platform 1

Desserts were a little more style over substance. The plates looked like works of art, extremely Instagram suitable, but the blueberry tart pastry was a little soft and bland while I found the burnt meringue and red wine jelly overpowering together. But this slightly disappointing final course could not distract from the stunning four savoury dishes I’d eaten prior to pudding.

Whether you make it in time to try the ONA menu or not I highly recommend paying Platform 1 a visit. The exciting food here will take you on an exotic journey… far far away from South London!

More information about Platform 1 and book a table here.

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