Restaurant Review: Big Red, Deptford

I was kindly invited to a taster evening at a restaurant with an interesting concept. Not your usual sit down around table restaurant, Big Red places you in and around an old London Bus. With seats and tables located inside a warm cosy bus, and benches outside under sheltered canopies, this place is perfect for a relaxing lunch or dinner.

Located just 5 minutes from Deptford train station, this was easy to get to and only 15 minutes on the train from London Charing Cross. The bus front and restaurant entrance is a striking beacon, making it unable to miss from the main road. Despite arriving nearly twenty minutes too early for the event, we were kindly welcomed and well looked after by Dawn, Paul the organiser, and John, the owner.
We were sat in the larger area outside the bus, which immediately made me worry about getting cold or the food losing its heat, but this turned out not to be a problem. Despite feeling open and airy, it was warm and I didn't need a coat to stay comfortable. There were a mixture of table and chairs or benches, and having sat on a bench I did find it a little hard after a while and perhaps cushions would have been useful.
We started our evening with some drinks. The menus are funky covered with great eye catching typography. Drinks are reasonably priced for London and despite me starting to only just enjoy red wine, I enjoyed their range of fruity flavours. Jugs of water were also bought to the table...but what can be said about that really.

We were given a menu that outlines what we were trying throughout the evening and from the beginning, I was excited to try the artichoke pizza and sausage pasta. However...starters first.

The roasted beetroot salad added a nice bit of colour to my plate, while the lentil salad provided substance. It was filled with delicious roasted vegetables such as peppers and aubergine. We were also given some freshly prepared bread, with a nice tomatoey caponata.
The chicken skewers came with a deliciously fresh, summery tasting salsa verde which really lightened up the first courses.
The first set of mains were the pasta. It began with their special hand made fresh ravioli, filled with asparagus and ricotta in a lemon sauce. The filling was delicious and the lemon butter on the top really helped to freshen up the cheese texture.
Then came the dish I was looking forward to the most. The tomato sausage spaghetti. The sausage came in a meatball form and accompanied with the tomato sauce, it was the perfect dish for me. I feel like there was a good amount of sauce to pasta so it wasn't too heavy and certainly didn't disappoint.
I was then taken for a little look around the cinema section set at the restaurant, where people are invited to watch films before/after or during their food. This is where I believe they host stand up comedy events every Tuesday, Films every Wednesday and trailer TVs on Thurs. However, by exploring the grounds...I missed the pesto pasta. Boo

We then set about devouring the Pizzas. There was the brand new Pizza of The Month called ‘The Flower Of Italy’  inspired by the upcoming Chelsea Flower Show. Available until the end of April, it was topped with Roasted Peppers, Capers, Artichoke Hearts and Buffalo Mozzarella. The Artichoke was scrummy and would be my Pizza of choice. The base was nice and thin, meaning the crust was crunchy and not doughy.
The second had capers and anchovies which proved a little too salty for me and topped with Rocket which isn't my favourite but I know of others who enjoyed it.
Then came the desserts. The brownies came in a mountain form, the Banoffee in an oozy pie and the Knickerboker glory in a disco of a glass. Although a little awkward to cut into portions, the Banoffee pie was a taste of sweet heaven with a crisp base, tasty bananas and gooey toffee.
The brownies were more of a dark chocolate so actually a small piece was perfectly adequate. I am not the biggest ice cream fan, and found the knickerbocker glory rather sweet, but the boozy cakey base was delicious...and rather potent!
So with tasty fresh food and exciting free events throughout the week, this is a perfect place to bring a group of friends for a casual lunch or dinner, or a family where you want to kids entertained.
The inviting atmosphere and friendly environment is definitely one to keep you going back and considering how close it is to central London on the train, it's a big winner for me!

Thanks to the lovely people at The Big Red for inviting me to this evening, and I will be sure to visit again with a group of friends who can further spread the word. Find out more about them here.


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