After missing out on a visit to their summer residency at Platform 1 in East Dulwich, we were invited for lunch with Oxalis – the pop-up restaurant created by chefs Max De Nahlik and Nick Ross – at their new venue, Sun & 13 Cantons on the corner of Beak Street, Soho. While Max champions ‘best of British’-style cooking, Nick is a stickler for French techniques, so their two styles come together to form something that’s a bit of both.
Sun & 13 Cantons is a Fuller’s pub that has the feel of a 1930s bistro. Green leather booths and warm light from lamps on the wall make for a smart and intimate dining space, despite the bustle of the bar in the other room. They have chefs in on residencies of three to six months, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their rotations if you like what you try there.
We start with the ‘small plates’ section of the menu, opting for beef scrumpet with bone marrow and parsley aioli. It’s like a beef croquette, sitting on the rich aioli which is lifted with a zing of fresh parsley. With that, we have the short rib ‘poutine’, which is lacking in the oozing gravy element you’d expect from the Québécois dish, but makes for a tasty portion of cheesy chips with tender short rib sitting on top. Excellent as a snack while sinking a beer or two.
On to the bigger plates, of which we’re most excited about the squash tortellini. Nicely al-dente and enriched with a confit egg yolk, it comes with tenderstem broccoli and a crispy, salty anchovy crumb. We also tuck into a sumptuously seasonal serving of grouse, prepared three ways: as a juicy, roasted breast, a crumbed and fried leg, and rich and mousse-like parfait on beef dripping toast. A whole portion of the latter would go down a storm.
After all that savoury-ness, we look to pud and are presented with a raspberry cheesecake that’s lovely – not too sweet – and a chocolate mousse with sour cherry, an amaretti crumb and lavender meringue.
Great vibes, good food, and a top spot in the heart of Soho.
We The Food Snobs x