Tamra’s orange sign doesn’t quite blend in with the chic Clapham eateries on Northcote Road but it is an immediate indicator of the more homely, wholesome feel that the restaurant is known for.
Tamra is popular with in-the-know locals, despite going against the increasing trend for chains such as Nandos, All Bar One, GBK and most recently Byron. It’s a well established spot for lunch, and especially tough to get a table at the weekend. There are a few outdoor tables, and inside the layout it quite tightly packed, with little room for staff (and the restaurant’s friendly dog) to weave in between.
The coffee machine behind the counter at the back is constantly brewing, and through the hatch you can catch a glimpse of the chefs hard at work in the small kitchen. On occasion staff can be a little fraught and service is definitely slow, but it’s worth the wait when the food arrives.
Tamra is without a doubt a destination brunch venue. Eggs Florentine (£7.50) are a highlight on the menu: perfect dippy yolks on lightly toasted English muffins with spinach, mushrooms and creamy hollandaise to top it all off. Other breakfast options range from a hearty porridge (£4.95) or simple eggs (however you like) with sides of crispy smoked bacon or smoked salmon to pancakes (£7.50) and, of course, a full fry up (£8.80).
If you’re more in the mood for lunch fare, Tamra doesn’t disappoint. Roast chicken sandwich (£7) is served on toasted sourdough, with avocado spread, slow roasted tomatoes and shredded, full-flavoured chicken. Fat, crispy, handcut chips (£3.60) are just the right side of greasy, and dipped in aioli are the perfect accompaniment. Superfood salad (£9.50) stands out too, a colourful bowl of mixed leaves, carrot, beetroot, roasted peppers and tomatoes, topped with warm grilled halloumi - virtuous but satisfying enough to guarantee you won’t be jealous of whoever ordered the burger.
There are daily and weekend specials chalked up on the board, and a selection of cakes (served in decently portioned slices) and pastries if you’re just popping in for a sweet bite and coffee.
Alongside the usual freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, teas, coffee and (a particularly tasty) hot chocolate, Tamra is also licensed, so you can treat yourself to a glass of bucks fizz or something stronger to celebrate a lazy weekend.
The Last Word
Service can be hit or miss, but even if you fail to raise a smile from a surly waiter, Tamra is still worth a visit for good quality and flavour, well done classics and something a little different.