The Rosemary: An Authentic taste of Hungary in New Cross

With London’s booming food and drink scene dominated by restaurants catering to accustomed tastes, and street food outlets bringing in new and diverse flavours from around the world, it’s rare to find places with a simple and personal cuisine unique to a country or culture. In The Rosemary, a Hungarian restaurant in New Cross, we found this very trait…

Located on the beginning of the Old Kent Road, The Rosemary’s unassuming location makes it intriguing to passers by. The restaurant has no clear outside decor apart from a few racks with fresh plants and flowers on them, that they appear to be selling as a side venture to the restaurant. It’s branding is lovely but quite easy to miss, and you really have to peer in the window if you want to see the layout inside.

Lewisham Card The Rosemary

Visiting at lunchtime on a dull, grey day, escapism was much needed and my hopes were high after hearing about this restaurant’s great food and atmosphere. After admiring their flower and plant selection outside, we stepped inside to be greeted by a wonderful and homely interior. It is both spacious and well decorated, with walls and furniture adorned with various items that represent Hungarian culture. An open display unit hosting an array of old antiques - radios, ceramics, old jars and the like - can be found on the right as you come in, which I found myself aimlessly pondering over like a museum goer engrossed by ancient relics. The dining area is spread out across the main floor in a neat but relaxed layout, with large food tables for groups and smaller ones for those just wanting a quiet drink, and there’s more articles of Hungarian culture dotted about the place and artwork from local students and artists up on the walls.

Lewisham Card The Rosemary
Lewisham Card The Rosemary
Lewisham Card The Rosemary

We settled down by the window, in a wooden enclave that had bags of garlic and strings of chilli hanging from above and plants acting as a partition between tables, reinforcing the homely nature of this restaurant and it’s organic approach to food. The menu was filled with Hungarian dishes and drinks, which we explored fervently. We ordered their Hungarian Lagers, a Cordon Bleu with Rice, and the Hungarian Lesco (vegetable stew with tomato and peppers), with the accompanying Hungarian sausage. 15 minutes later, we were in business…

Lewisham Card The Rosemary
Lewisham Card The Rosemary

The meals were not only distinctly flavoursome and unique, they were also wholesome and nourishing, leaving me wholly satisfied afterwards. The simplicity of the stew’s contents (basically just a lot of peppers and tomato) was balanced by the richness of its texture and the famously flavoursome Hungarian sausage. The Cordon Bleu came stuffed with cheese and ham, and the chicken was cooked to perfection. Satisfied and chuffed by the friendly service, we decided to order dessert as we weren’t quite ready to part with The Rosemary’s accommodating hospitality. A chocolate pancake, and the top-dog Hungarian trifle were our choices, which were both delicious and well-presented. The trifle came with homemade ice cream and toffee pieces, which stole the show a bit from the trifle if i’m honest!

Lewisham Card The Rosemary

If you’re looking for somewhere new to try out, having saturated the classics and the beloved restaurants of our borough, sample this still relatively new and exciting Hungarian restaurant in New Cross. With a unique cuisine, a homely atmosphere, lovely staff and a really cool interior, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!


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