The Brockley Central Interview: Brockley's Rock

The opening of a new fish restaurant on Brockley Road is guaranteed to generate a lot of interest on Brockley Central, but owner Kyri Karoulla stoked the fires of the internet in a way that would put JJ Abrams to shame, with an esoteric choice of name that had grammar freaks hyperventilating: Brockleys Rock. Now, we've had the chance to interview Kyri to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding the new business:

When's opening day?
We are planning to open on Monday 4th July. If there’s any change to that plan, we will let you know via this website, so unless you hear differently, the 4th July it is.


What will your opening hours be?
Opening hours will be 11:30am to 10:00pm Monday to Saturday. Note has been taken that there is a keen interest on Brockley Central for Sunday opening, so watch this space.


Are you primarily going to be a takeaway or a cafe?
We will be both take away and restaurant. I want Brockley's Rock to have a relaxed atmosphere - somewhere you can bring your friends for a nice meal as well as the family.Or to just grab a take away.


Will you have any specialities? What will make you different?
We will be specialising in traditional fish and chips as well as grilled fish, seafood and homemade fish cakes. It's just going to be about fish and simple cooking. We do not have a drinks licence but our customers are welcome to bring their own bottle of wine and we will provide the glasses and the bottle opener.


You've seen the comments about the lack of an apostrophe on your sign ‘Brockleys Rock’, so we've got to ask, what is the name of the shop?
It’s called Brockley’s Rock. I was really surprised with the attention the apostrophe has attracted. The name Brockley's Rock was simply an play on words. Brockley's Rock feels personal – the fish belongs to Brockley and hopefully the locals can be proud of it. The apostrophe will be added to the shop's name hopefully before the opening date.


Why did you decide to open in Brockley?
I wanted to locate my fish shop somewhere diverse and multicultural. I love the feel of the area. It's vibrant and exciting and I hope to be part of that.


How long did it take you to get the business off the ground?
I've been looking for the perfect place for over a year.I was quite particular about the type of area I wanted to settle in .Brockley is not only going to be my place of business it is also going to be my home.


Which other local businesses do you admire?
I do love the food at Brockley Mess, and the coffee is first class. El’s Kitchen has to be admired for establishing themselves in the area in such a short time and are now running for Deli of the Year award. Peter from Heat is my neighbour and a five star hairdresser. Everyone on the street has actually made me feel very welcome.


Fishy Business gets very good reviews from readers, why do you think there is room in the area for another fish and chip place?
We intend to offer grilled fish as well as fried, and seafood such as calamari, whitebait, prawns and homemade fish cakes, not offered anywhere else in the area, I don’t think.


Do you have a background in the restaurant industry? Why did you decide to open your own business?
I have been in the fish and chips business for about 23 years. I ran my own fish and chips take away and restaurant in Bow East London for 10 years. Fish and chips is what I know and do best. Brockley's rock will be quite different with a fresh approach to good simple quality food.


Any other message to Brockley residents?
Thanks to all that took the time to post their comments on the Brockley Central website. On behalf of Brockley's Rock I look forward to welcoming you all.

57 comments:

Brockley Ben said...

Fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in on your plans. And for your forthcoming apostrophe!

Wishing you all the best. If I wasn't in the middle of arranging a company curry night on Monday I'd be there on opening night. Maybe I'll toddle along on the 5th instead.

Chris O'Brien said...

Looking forward to it. Personally I'd forget about apostrophes and go for 'The Brockley Rock' but I'm sure in time everyone will refer to it as 'the rock' anyway.

Ramble said...

So excited!! Mmmmmmm calamari! Good luck!

monkeyboy said...

Great idea about the alternatives to battered fish. I went to chippies like that in Australia just normal unpretentious places, but with a small wet fish counter. Choose your fish and they grilled it there and then. Grilled prawns and chips? Lobster and chips? clamari and chips? It would not be hard to do and will differentiate you from other chipies. Always surprised that more places don't do that over here.

Possible supplier....?
http://deptforddame.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-fish.html

mb said...

...and leave the spelling alone!

Anonymous said...

Really dissapointed no mention of sustainable s#fish supplies - have you heard of Hugh Fearnly-Whittlingstalls Fish Fight?

https://www.facebook.com/#!/hughsfishfight

From all the posts so far it seems to be 'sod the future of the sea I want my fish....'

Ramble said...

Anon give yourself a name. But yes I agree. I'm getting all excited about someone investing in our area but fish sustainability is important. Mackerel baps all around......

peter said...

yes I'd add to the requests for sustainable fish

you can download the good fish guide from the marine conservation society here: http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/fisheries/Pocket%20Good%20Fish%20Guide%205th%20May%202011.pdf

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 11:25 let me help you rephrase your post:

It would be really good if this place was to serve sustainably caught fish - do you have any policies in that regard please?

breathing normally now said...

This does sound like a very pleasing development, particularly for those of us living in "mid-town" Brockley. Thank you for all the information.

It's also good to know that the missing comma will soon be in its rightful plaice (ahem).

Barbara said...

Ooh this sounds good, like Monkeyboy says more like Oz fish and chip places - yum.

I had noticed the sign and decided to choose to believe that its un-apostrophied subtext was "all Brockleys Rock" - ie West Side, station area, Telly Hill, Crofton Park - factions united by Brockleys Rock in (appropriately) the mid-town. Will take some getting used to the apostrophe now.

Thanks to the owner and Nick for taking the time for this interview!

Anonymous said...

It is good to hear the owners vision for his business and I wish him a warm welcome to Brockley.

I am hoping there will be mushy peas.

Carn E Vore said...

Any answer to the Beef Dripping question?

Surf 'n' turff said...

beef dripping may be a step too far. Would have to balance those who would make a special journy for that against those put off. If I was running a plaice(!) I know what I'd choose.

Occasionally bowing to the market has to be done.

Matt-Z said...

Looking forward to checking it out next month.

Will they get a 'Frying Tonight' sign?

Interview doesn't answer the question of why no apostrophe to start with. Mind you there seems to be a London-wide shortage of them so perhaps they had to order it in specially.

Paddy said...

Good luck to them!

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I have fond memories of eating Fish and Chips oop north as a child which were always cooked in beef dripping. It gives them a much more savoury taste I think.

http://www.rickstein.com/modules/documents/documents/FishChips_TAKEAWAY_Menu.pdf

Seems I am not the only one. Can't imagine it does much for your arteries but then you only live once.

Mondee said...

Great interview. It's lovely to hear someone so enthusiastic about our area and so keen to invest here. I can now forgive him for the apostrophe misdemeanour ;-)
I really like the sound of what Kyri aiming to achieve, with healthier grilled fish options etc. It all sounds very appealing. I would also like to know if he has a policy on sustainable fish, and where he will be buying his fish from.

Alex said...

Just to pick up on one of the answers that mentioned El's Deli being in the running for Deli of the Year (in case anyone hasn't heard)...well they won (jointly) in London and now they're through to the regional finals.

Anonymous said...

Sustainable ****ing fish?

We can't simple fare (as promised at the interview), not the menu from the Oxfam AGM.

My only question would be are they selling doner meat with the chips?

Anonymous said...

can't = want!

Now and Then said...

@anon 13.29 We can't sample fare?, We can't have simple fare??, or is my guess as good as yours?

Did we ever get to the bottom of whether 'rock salmon' would be on offer?

I dont do punctuation said...

While I understand the sustainable thing, it must be hard enough opening a bussiness without laying down their purchasing policy. The primary responsibility should be the consumer. Boycott the big retailers, they are the ones who shape the Market.

Good luck etc.... Mines a grilled dolphin... I mean pollock

blower said...

Really?.. Sainsbury's(big, bad retailer, chain, evil, high street armageddon) are very good when it comes to offering sustainable fish.

Now and Then said...

@IDDP, I understand that the big retailers are becoming ever more compliant, (Princes being the dishonourable exception)but dogfish is a particularly FnC problem being rarely seen anywhere else.

quick brown fox said...

I suppose that even the big supermarkets realise that in the long run, the only fish that will be available are those that are sourced sustainably.

Anyone who thinks it's a good idea to source from anything other than sustainable fish supplies doesn't understand the alternative.

Brockley Nick said...

Exactly. Sustainable fishing isn't a bourgeois luxury, it's the only option. There's no debate.

Ed CPZ said...

You had me at 'The apostrophe will be added'. Agree with sustainability being important; what's the fish we are all supposed to eat now?

Danja said...

even the big supermarkets realise

At some point in time maybe even little fishermen and fishmongers and fish and chip shops and fish-eaters will realise it too.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Apparently both Dodos and Great Auks were easy to catch and eat as well.

Don't think I've tatsed either....

Pisscat (or Ian) said...

To add to MB's comments about Ozzie FnC. The ones I'd frequent around Suffrers' Paradise and Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast would offer a choice of batters too; tempura, beer, regular.

I've never understood why chippies over here never seem to do that. I'm possibly with MB in that I don't really like batter anyway. Certainly not the revolting orange crust that most chippies knock out. Can't see the point of it tbh. Just gets in the way of the fish.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The purpose of the batter is to forms a sealed coating around the fish which is then steamed in its own juices rather than being fried directly.

This is a more healthy form of cooking than you would imagine.

Or so I am told

weecat (or Ian) said...

Thanks TM. I didn't know that.

Ramble said...

As a Northerner I've always liked my chips with gravy. Not my fish mind. But don't think this is gonna be that kind of chippy.

Can't wait to try Brockley's Rock out. Guessing it'll be similar to Sea Cow in ED but hopefully better. Never thought that the Sea Cow chips were up to much, not a patch on Fishy Business.

Mb said...

Quick clarification, I like batter as well it's just nice to have a choice. Fresh crunchy batter gets an MB seal of approval, fat 'n' all.

weecat said...

Jogged past earlier this evening and the shopfitters were going at it hammer and tongs (they were banging nails into things as well), to get the place open for next week. Looking good inside from what I could see, with a pastelly paint scheme which appeals to my delicate sensibilities, I'm really happy that this new chippy is opening nearby, as I'd given up with the previous Chinese-run incarnation.

Drool said...

Opening next week? But I'm hungry now!

Anonymous said...

The East Dulwich Sea Cow does, however, do a very nice mushy pea accompaniment which is not the regular lurid affair.

The Sea Cow in Clapham, seems to follow the Australian model as described here. They also serve wine which goes down a treat.

There is much that can be done to make the fish and chip experience more wonderful.

Wands said...

Any chance of a wet fish counter? And another 'hear hear' for sustainably sourced seafood. Make mine bycatch...

Anonymous said...

Fish n Chip shops are a venue for good, honest fare.

Nuclear curry sauce that just doesn't wash out
Wooden forks
A fruit machine in the corner

Give me this over artisan delis any day.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!!

You will never be able to please everyone, but with your attitude I really think you will succeed. The shop looks lovely and fresh, love the sound of your grilled fish, prawns, and calamari etc and hopefully all these people who have taken so much time to make comments will come and try your food.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Headhunter said...

Sainsbury's canned tuna is the most sustainably caught of all brands acc to Greenpeace and the Fish Fight people, their full range has been line caught for ages. By contrast Prince's and John West the 2 major brands on the shelves were very, very slow to stop using Fish Aggregation Devices - enormous nets which scrape across the bottom of the sea and reach up to the surface, catching simply every living thing in miles and destroying coral growing on the ocean floor (which takes thousands of years to form). The by-catch for these FADs is absolutely huge, for every kilo of tuna caught many kilos of coral, squid, octopus, sharks and other fish is simply lobbed overboard, dead.

BrockleyFox said...

Brockley's Rock is looking fantastic so far, and I cant wait to try it, especially as it only 30 seconds from my house! On a side note... any chance of a job? ;)

Aricana said...

Great news. Looking forward to Calamari and chips.

Paddy said...

Good luck with the opening today - I will be in later in the week to try the fish and chips!

FishnChipaholic said...

Anyone been in yet able to tell us what it is like?

P. Bodin said...

forget the spelling mistake which has now been dealt with!!
Tried them tonight, and if the level of service and the quality of the food being produced is anything to go by, this business could potentially have a long life in Brockley. Well cooked fish, great service. Please carry on the good work, Brockley's Rock has gained a customer!!

Satisfied belly said...

Sends a clear message out to other eateries in the area. We want our fare cheap, simple and quick! Can't go wrong :)

MrsMonk said...

Tried it on opening night and great service, nice space and enormous portions of chips. Please make your calamari portions more main course size though Brockley's Rock. Too delicious to be teeny. Happy to pay a bit more for it!

Brockley Nick said...

@Belly - there has always been and always will be plenty of cheap, simple and quick food. What the early positivity around Brockley's Rock shows, in my view, is that if you offer quality food and make an effort, Brockley customers will respond enthusiastically.

Anonymous said...

Thought i would try it out last night and OMG, i ordered cod and chips and was suprised how light the batter was, normally i feel like i have had a heavy meal after fish and chips but this was not the case here. I think my local has just lost a customer as i definatley recommend the food here, the wait was worth it.
The place looks very fresh and modern and just has a really great feel to it. The owner seems like a genuine guy. Thumbs up all round.

Anonymous said...

So all in all then, good, honest fare?

Guesstimator said...

The time when Good & Honest etc was funny ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------x 1 000 000 x 2.25 ----> Present day.

Brockley Ben said...

Went last night at about 9pm. Busy but pretty efficient. And very welcoming.

I had haddock and chips. And they were brilliant. Fresh, perfectly cooked fish properly protected by a light and crispy batter. Chips were rough hewn and done to a T. This is right up there with the best F&C I can even recall eating.

A fantastic new addition to the area.

Mb said...

just been. Fantastic, does exactly what it says on the tin. Batter was not to heavy, chips were good, mushy peas were a reassuringly lurid green (green like no green nature ever produced)

Was proper mobbed but it is Friday, worth phoning ahead. The little eating area looks good and it's BYO. looking forward to trying the calamari and grilled offerings. Deserves to do really well.

http://www.brockleysrock.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

wow, went last night and had a whitebait calamari folowed by cod & chips. Absolutely delicious. Best ever batter on really fresh, perfectly cooked fish.
Classy venue without the classy prices, in fact it was terrific value.
Farrow & Ball comes to your local fish restuarant!
Welcoming, friendy staff, great menu. They deserve to do well

Elisabeth said...

Loving it! especially the chips!
I am so glad they are so busy and doing well!
Best wishes

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