I came across Maloko on one of my extended weekend walks when I was on my way home. I was starving, but instead of running into the first pub on the way, I was silently complaining about the food choices in Camberwell. There was no Ramen. Fair enough. But there was no cake either. Why was there no cake?? Then I found this little gem. On the menu out front it said galettes, which is not a word I heard before, so I went in to find out. Turns out it’s a vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free creperie. Well … Hello there! I’m not a vegetarian, but I prefer the vegetarian option most times.
I have to admit this creperie has an odd layout, but its nooks and crannies only add to the appeal. It has charmingly mismatched furniture, a sackcloth-coated ceiling, artworks on the walls and a bookshelf with a wide variety of paperbacks. As I’m working in an art gallery, I’m surrounded by art all day long, which can be a real burden when it comes to Contemporary Art. But I’m not so jaded yet that I cannot appreciate the artsy decor in this place. I had the feeling that this was truly a selection made by the occupiers taste and not just some way of flogging art. It wasn’t the brightest of cafe’s … no white cube environment for this art installation … but it still had a very cheery, upbeat atmosphere and the waiters were amazingly nice. While sitting down on the low to the floor couch, next to a colourful table with some lilies on it, looking out into the bustling street … I could imagine coming here often to enjoy a relaxed Sunday afternoon. The menu was very simple, but the decision process was not. Sweet or savoury? Tea or fresh juice?
In the end I went for fresh mint tea and the Red Goat galette. It’s made from buckwheat, which is not wheat at all but rather a cousin of the rhubarb (I researched this and it still sounds very strange) and included beetroot, goat cheese, spinach and sweet potato. It was delicious. The outer layer was crisp, the spinach and beetroot were fresh. I only found very few pieces of sweet potato in there and I have to admit there was too much of goat cheese, as it overpowered some of the other flavours, but all in all it was a great meal.
When it came to paying I was asked to go into the kitchen area in the back to pay, which allowed me a tiny glimpse into the cooking process. It looked delicious and would have ordered another one, but one Red Goat was enough for the afternoon.
This is a really lovely, relaxed place. The menu has some great things on the menu (next one I will try the Asparagus Feast) and for a total of £10, including tip, it’s a very cheap lunch option.
65 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8QZ
tel: 020 3305 8913.
It is open from 8.30am ish through ’til 10pm ish 7 days a week.