We had a great meal last night in a charming little restauarant in Bermondsey, tucked just behind Guys Hospital.
The restaurant is called Champor-Champor, a Malay expression which means I am told, 'a little of this, a little of that'. This theme is carried out throughout the restaurant, it's food and it's stunning decor.
It's an intimate place, seating perhaps 25 covers, the tables spaced just far enough apart for comfort.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with much charm by the Malaysian staff and shown to a table by the door, from where we could take in the sensational colour scheme and the collection of delightful mis-matched artifacts.
We were then brought an Amuse Bouche of samosas and spicy mussells. I have to be in the right mood for mussells and wasn't, but my friend pronounced them as being excellent. The breads were interesting too, and including fried tofu skin. Tasty.
For my starter, I ordered the special, which was a fragrant salad of crispy fried ostrich. Fab! My friends had the tofu sashimi and the Kafir lime, salted fish and mungbean sprout salad. Although they enjoyed these, it seemed that my ostrich salad had been the best choice.
Next arrived our main courses. Fragrant Teocheow duck with 'black' spice soy served with kaduk leaf-flavoured rice, stir fried lamb in a mild curry sauce accompanied by wonderful anise flavoured rice and for my veggie friend Burmese vegetarian mohinga served with Chinese black cloud ear salad and Malay kari puff. I was all excellent.
We couldn't manage deserts, but they looked great.
During the evening, I mentioned to the owner how much I was enjoying the music he was playing, a CD by the Malaysian songstrees Sharifa Aini. Upon leaving the restaurant he gifted me a copy of the CD, an unexpected and generous gesture which typifies what you will experience at this restaurant.
The bill for the four of us came to £140 including 3 bottles of Coldridge Estate, 2001 - Shiraz-Cabernet, several bottles of mineral water and coffee.
They have a web site and the link is below