Skip to main content

Khamsa (Restaurant)

Picture of Khamsa in Brixton, London

140 Acre Lane, Brixton, London, SW2 5UT
Cuisine: African
Tel: 0207 733 3150 | Email to Khamsa | Transport: Clapham North | Write review

Khamsa Review

Best for: Fresh ingredients, juices, cakes

Great: Relaxed atmosphere, décor, ethos

It's 77 days until Christmas and counting but strangely enough it feels like Christmas has come early. Sitting in the relaxed spacious downstairs of Algerian restaurant Khamsa in Brixton, we sit in a circle desecrating five beautifully handcrafted cakes. As my companion and I sample each cake, we’re watched by Jamel, culinary artist and owner of Khamsa. I feel like I am opening presents – anticipation wafts around in the air with the smell of incense and our gift-giver is waiting expectantly for a reaction. Trained as a pastry chef, Jamel has no need to worry – these intricately decorated treats are all delicious and infused with a variety of unusual herbs and spices, giving them that Christmas taste.

Wind back the clock three hours and walking into Khamsa, I never thought my evening would end with such festive delights. Wooden panelled walls and furniture are the basic ingredients to Khamsa's authentic Algerian look. Kabyle (Berber) woollen rugs line the walls and alongside traditional Algerian instruments and Kabyle symbols hang, accompanied by the sound of music from Algiers. The small open kitchen with pots and pans hanging is visible behind an illuminated fridge displaying tempting cakes. We are ushered to one of the ten intimate tables and sit in the corner surrounded by cushions.

Open for merely a year, Khamsa emphasises the importance of “raw” ingredients, shunning “copy and paste” restaurants, preservatives and frozen foods while embracing organic, halal and fair-trade ingredients to ensure its healthy dishes cater for everyone. Like the main dining area, the menu is small but everything offered is carefully chosen and a homegrown favourite of Jamel's, which suggests that as news of this BYO gem spreads, booking will become essential.

Perusing the menu, we're both struck by the alien dish names, all strangely spelt and virtually unpronounceable, and the amazing array of mixed fruit juices, boasting inventive ingredients: apple and fresh mint, apple, cucumber, spinach and lime. Ordering two preliminary juices, with so many fascinating concoctions, we wonder whether we'll ever crack open the plonk we especially purchased.

Choosing a starter is easy – the mixed salad for two sounds delicious and gives us the chance to taste everything on the starter menu. With Kirsty's unfortunate serious allergy to pepper and chilli, main courses are more difficult as the main base ingredient of many Algerian dishes is a specially formulated chilli paste. Luckily, Khamsa is all about that home-from-home atmosphere and Jamel and his smiley wife, Sabrina, are very accommodating and keen to please, popping out especially to pick up an alternative ingredient.

Our salads arrive in traditional handcrafted pottery dishes and offer a few unexpected pleasant surprises – all are generous in size and extremely tasty but it's the Baba Ganouch (aubergine puree) and unusual added extra of pomegranate seeds on top that charms my taste buds. Waiting for the plates to be cleared, we have to restrain ourselves from licking the bowls clean.

Before our mains arrive, we're jolted back to the reality of our Brixton/Clapham location by the sound of a phone ringing. Apologetically answering, Kirsty is quick to praise Khamsa and is already arranging her next visit when two large bowls arrive with funnel shaped lids reminiscent of old fashioned wood burner chimneys. Inside large portions of chicken, spinach and sweet potato and beef and chickpea tajines are complimented by light fluffy cous cous. Both dishes are comparable to Indian curries but, like our starters, ingredients taste extremely fresh and unlike some greasier Indian dishes, these delicious Algerian counterparts feel healthier and less stodgy.

Retiring to sit downstairs with an Aladdin's lamp of mint tea, we sink into comfortable sofas in the low ceilinged room divided by a partially open, see-through curtain. Lit only by candles and lamps, the room is relaxing and would make the perfect hookah bar. Every detail of Khamsa is so carefully thought-out and executed that it transports you to Algeria. Visiting their facilities I almost expected to see a squat toilet. But when I depart I'm surprised to be met with the familiar site of a Lidl supermarket next door.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Khamsa

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Khamsa.

“Simple as that one of the best North African restaurant I ever been to. Algerian food has took its place amongst other cuisines ,thank you to khamsa.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Drew, London (6 years 4 months 5 days ago)

Leave Your Review of Khamsa

Your name:
Email address:      
Home Town:
Atmosphere:
Value for Money rating:
Quality rating:
Your review:

Characters remaining: 2600

Subscribe to the Fluid e-newsletter: Get the hottest special offers, bar info and restaurant news first. You can unsubscribe at any time. We take your privacy very seriously and will never share your details with third parties witout your consent.
Complete

Your review has been submitted. Once you have verified your e-mail address, it will be displayed on the site.

Khamsa Opening Hours

Monday: Closed Friday: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Tuesday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm Saturday: 10:00am - 11:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 10:30pm Sunday: 12:00pm - 7:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 10:30pm    

Additional Information

Khamsa Food & Drinks

Email Khamsa

Name *
Email *      
Phone
3 + 2
Please prove you're not a machine by adding this simple sum.
Subject
Message
I agree to the Terms & Conditions
If this is your first message through the Fluid London, before your enquiry is sent to the venue, you will recieve a message asking you to confirm your email address. This is to prevent fraudulent enquiries and bookings.

Sending...

Mail sent!

Your review has been submitted. Once you have verified your e-mail address, it will be displayed on the site.

Please note that Fluid London has no affiliation with any venues listed on our websites

Send a link of Khamsa to a friend

Your Name *
Your Email *  
Send to email  
  Confirmation Code
Enter the number shown above:
Message
I agree to the Terms & Conditions
If this is your first message through the Fluid London, before your enquiry is sent to the venue, you will recieve a message asking you to confirm your email address. This is to prevent fraudulent enquiries and bookings.

Mail Sent!

A link to Khamsa on Fluid London has been sent.

Send another message

Please note that Fluid London has no affiliation with any venues listed on our websites

Khamsa Map

Nearby Venues

Nearby Pubs & Bars

Nearby Restaurants

Venue ID: 20872

Venue Managers: update this page

Edit the information we hold on Khamsa or learn about upgrading today.

 

Loved

"Hi guys, I come here with my friends and have very good time. I like your place very much and is very good times. I come back when I can soon. Thank you very much." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Dreadful pub, run by people who have zero idea about hospitality or running a pub. Upon arrival we sat in the back garden that only had one other table occupied , when we tried to order off the lunch menu..." Which venue is this?

Recently viewed

  1. Khamsa (SW2)
  2. The Book Club (EC2)
  3. Phonox (SW9)
  4. The Porchester (W2)
  5. The Spread Eagle (NW1)
  6. Sagar (WC2)
  7. The Cock Tavern (EC1)
  8. The KPH (W10)
  9. Old Street Records (EC1)

Log in to Fluid London

Login with a Fluid username and password
Email:
Password:
Remember Me

Forgot your password?
Register as a new user?

Or login using FaceBook

Login with FaceBook
;