Chinwag, New Cross

21 Lewisham Way

Ellie and Eren are the team behind a new bar / kitchen opposite Goldsmiths on Lewisham Way called Chinwag, which opened in late December. We interrupted their Christmas to ask them about it:

What's on the menu?

Our menu is bistro/cafe style, good homemade wholesome foods and our speciality is our burgers, made to order on a flame grill. Eren is the chef, he has been in the profession as long as he can remember as he grew up in his fathers restaurant in turkey.

What have you done to the place?

The building used to be home to Southern Fried Chicken and we had a lot of work to do. Initially, to save money, we both broke our backs digging up the concrete floors, ripping off generations of kitchen tiles and pulling down the ceiling whilst forming a grateful relationship with DIY YouTube videos. We also cheekily roped in all the local builders to point us in the right direction, including the new Sainsbury's Local, four doors down - the building site manager was a gem.

What's it like inside now?

The decor is arty but homely, most points of interest have been made by me and my partner like our wall mounted lights that are second hand bathroom/kitchen/outside taps that have lights placed into them to look like glowing water drops. There are a few hints of a London theme, including a front door made into a telephone box door and a toilet made to look like the outside of No. 10 Downing Street. We've used loads of wood and open brick work.

Why did you choose New Cross?

Eren has lived here since he moved to the UK 8 years ago and we live above the shops in this parade so it was ideal. I'm still a full-time student, studying law at Kings College London - so doing this was a bit of a curve ball for me, but why not eh?!

What are your opening times?

We're open from 9am-9pm. We are currently applying for our alcohol licence so hopefully when that comes it will be worth opening for longer.

What kind of crowd do you attract?

Obviously, being opposite Goldsmiths means we would be stupid to ignore the student market, so we made it arty specifically for them to enjoy - but we love having the locals/young professionals and OAPs as well! We hope it will appeal to anyone who enjoys some really good coffee or something great to eat in nice surroundings.