Young's Wine Rooms
Young’s Auctions was a Camberwell Road institution. When the hammer fell for the last time in 2015, regulars were understandably upset. It had been there since 1930.
In 2019, James Klapanis (owner of buzzing Vietnamese spot St. Cloud Eating House) converted the space into Young’s Wine Rooms, a Mediterranean-inspired eatery. The old building has been transformed into a terracotta and navy-hued hideaway with lofty ceilings, lime-washed brick walls, and large, curved windows that open onto a separate area for pre or post-dinner drinks. The mezzanine dining room, with white-and-blue olive print brocade and wicker chairs, is more Santorini than Sotheby’s.
The kitchen team members hail from Turkey, Spain, Greece and Italy. Head chef Nicola Akritidis has spent time at Park Street Pasta & Wine, Vue de Monde and Longrain, and sous chef Sina Sucuka once manned the pans at Turkish restaurant Tulum.
On the menu, start with house-made potato chips with a frothy oyster emulsion or anchovies served straight from the tin. Brussels sprouts – another standout dish – are pan-fried until deeply caramelised, then piled onto a creamy whole-egg emulsion, drizzled with paprika butter and topped with shaved manchego. Crumbed croquettes are stuffed with house-cured jamon and more manchego, covered with mojo rojo (a Spanish red pepper-based sauce) and a lone chive. Another highlight is the smoked duck breast, which comes with turmeric-braised leeks, a rich leek and onion puree, and a dark, glossy bone marrow reduction.
To drink, there’s a mostly Med-hopping list of drops from Greece, Spain, Italy and France, with a few from Croatia and Morocco thrown in for good measure.