From Brixton tube station, you turn right on to the high street and right again on to (what I would call) a typical London market street - it's crowded and bustling with open shop-fronts. On the left about half-way down, there's a understated entrance to Brixton Village Market. Looking in from outside, you think you're about to take a wrong turn... You're not.
Metal shutters are down over the most of the shops inside when we arrived at around 6.30pm, but as we started to make our way through the maze-like market lanes we found ourselves stumbling around tables in the middle of the pavements. It was a hot evening and the cover of the market made the inside of the market quite stuffy – the few restaurants without cover at the back were heaving.
There is so much (almost too much) choice – Thai, Jamaican, Mexican, French – you could spend all night deciding. We wandered round for a good 30 minutes, browsing all the menus, before we settled on Elephant, an Pakistani street food place. The menu isn't extensive – there's are two traditional starters (samosas and pakoras, that we didn't have but the people next to us did and they looked divine!). For mains, you can choose between a chicken, lamb or vegetarian curry or Thali.
We went for a chicken and a lamb Thali and we weren't disappointed. It's a really nice selection of dahls, flat-bread, curry, rice and salad – so you get to try a bit of everything.
The bill came to £22.50, with a £2 'corkage' charge for the wine we brought with us.
Most the restaurants in Brixton Village don't take bookings, so if it's a nice evening and you want to sit outside, get there early. The food is cheap and the majority of the places are bring your own booze, making for an affordable evening.
Find Elephant at 55 Granville Arcade, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW98PS. Check out their website here.