When the boards started going up for this new(ish) kid on the block, the last thing anyone expected to appear next to Brixton veteran Negril was a vegetarian and vegan French galette serving hang-out and herb garden.
Half way up Brixton Hill stands Katakata. The whole vibe of this place is calm and serene – you could easily enjoy lunch for one, coffee with a buddy or a cheap al fresco bite to eat on a summer evening. Their extensive menu of super-healthy vegan and vegetarian French galettes and crepes, served alongside fresh juices, teas and coffees are brought to you by oh-so-friendly faces – making this a new spot for a feel-good feed. Make sure you visit the beautiful herb garden out the back, too.
Let’s start out with the happiest looking juice around – the apple, carrot, beetroot and ginger juice. It’s as good as any around and the vibrant colour will make you smile. I wouldn’t order the organic English tea again.
To eat, we ordered two galettes – ‘Veggie Lovers’, filled with tomato, aubergine, sweet peppers, spinach and goats cheese in a traditional French-style buckwheat pancake (which happens to be gluten free), and a ‘Caribbean Twist’ with jerk tofu, sweet potato, mushrooms and aubergine in a vegan pancake made of chickpeas, tahini and herbs from the garden. All galettes come served with a carrot, bean shoot, beetroot and spinach salad and they’re massive – meaning unfortunately we had no space left to try the crepes – a traditional French sweet pancake made with wheat flour. But they sounded great – from the bog-standard sugar, lemon and cinnamon combo to the cheesecake twist served with strawberries, white chocolate, coconut cream and granola.
The Veggie Lovers was a cut above the Caribbean twist for two reasons – firstly, the base. The buckwheat base has way more flavour and retains much more moisture than its vegan counterpart, which unfortunately is a little lack-lustre. Secondly, the Caribbean Twist was missing one very important ingredient and therefore that lovely savoury galette gooeyness – cheese. Always get the cheese! The difference between the two made Katakata a very difficult one to call – but the outcome was this: Give us a buckwheat goats-cheesy galette and yes, we’d be back in a flash. Make that a vegan pancake stuffed only with vegetation, we’d pass.
It’s worth noting that Katakata has great lunchtime deals, offering a galette and a juice for just £5.