In a similar fashion to its 1851 namesake, the Great Exhibition in East Dulwich is a glorious space in which free thinking people can celebrate the wonders of life. The exhibits today may not be as weird and wonderful as those that came from the four corners of the world all those years ago, but if you like to witness great food, beer and service in a convivial atmosphere and an off the wall environment, then the Great Exhibition has all you need.
With imagery that nods to great exhibitionists old and new and décor references to the exhibition itself, the comfortable and quirky interior of the Great Exhibition invites East Dulwich residents to join Dan and his staff in continuing a celebration of life.
As mentioned already, the food here is good - really good. The chefs behind the menu both hail from notable culinary backgrounds with a range of professional experience at reputable establishments.
Head Chef, Dave Fegan was born in Devon and has been an East Dulwich local for the last 8 years. His early London career saw him as a Sous Chef at the Tate Modern and locally at The Herne Tavern in 2006 before joining The Easton in Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell as Head Chef. He has a real talent for creating traditional British dishes with modern European influences. Dave believes in using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and is passionate about nose to tail dining.
Accompanying him behind the scenes is Sen Chellambye. Originally from Mauritius, Sen was raised in Belgium and moved to East Dulwich in 2004. Sen trained under Head Chef Alain Gascoin at L’Océan Seafood and Grill and went on to become Sous Chef at Gascoin’s own Michelin-starred L’Idiot du Village in Brussels. Before coming to the Great Exhibition, Sen spent 8 years as Head Chef at the Blue Mountain Café where he developed his passion for European cuisine with Asian and Caribbean influences.
Currently the menu features some enticing and interesting combinations using locally sourced produce where possible, and with an enthusiasm for incorporating fresh, seasonal greens. As such, the menu changes monthly according to what’s in season. Currently you can see dishes on the specials board such as Handmade Gnocchi with seasonal Cavolo Nero and tomato with smoked Paprika, as well as a fantastic winter warmer of Haunch of Dedham vale venison with a seasonal celeriac mash and griottes.
That’s not to say you won’t find staple pub dishes here too, such as burgers or fish and chips but they do come with a tasty twist, such as the home made Pork and Chorizo burger (£9.95)or Laines Ale battered Haddock and hand cut chips (£9.95). Whatever you desire, The Great Exhibition certainly aims to please with a varied and beautifully accomplished menu at reasonable prices.