An employment job centre isn’t usually somewhere I’d consider spending an evening, but Deptford’s Job Centre isn’t exactly what you’d expect. Having been turned into a quirky relaxed bar, it now attracts a whole host of people, not just those who are on benefits or looking for a job. Every Thursday to Saturday evenings, Kitchen Hijack takes over with a mouth-watering selection of street foods from some of London’s best pop-up vendors.
As soon as I heard about this place from Kasha I knew it was somewhere I just had to try out. Street food and cocktails in a quirky bar? It sounded like my perfect place to spend an evening!
Inside, the bar is huge and spacious with a random mix of tables and vintage chairs dotted around and an open area next to the bar for people to bust out some dance moves once the DJ gets going on the vinyl records. There’s still even a jobs board full of notices where you can leave business cards and ads. So when your other half asks where you are on a Friday night, you can legitimately say you were looking for jobs at the Job Centre. Just don’t blame me if you end up having too many drinks and giving the game away!
My eyes soon found the cocktail list hanging on a chalkboard above the bar which I was happy to work my way through. The Night Shade (blackcurrant and prosecco), although deliciously sweet and bubbly, felt far too sophisticated to be drinking in a place as quirky and hip as this, but my favourite was the fruity and refreshing summer cocktail, the Blueberry Mojito, which I could have sipped on all night.
We visited here on a Friday night, on what was supposed to be the last weekend of the Kitchen Hijack and lucky for us The Cheese Truck was in town. (Well, not the actual truck because getting a truck inside a bar may have proved slightly tricky.)
We couldn’t resist the tantalising menu options so we ordered our grilled cheese sandwiches straight away. I went for the Queso Chihuahua Cheese with spicy chorizo and rocket sandwiched between two thick slices of toasted bread, all topped with melted cheese oozing out from the centre. Alex went for the Cropwell Bishop Stilton with sweet-cure bacon and pear chutney all topped, of course, with more oozing melted cheese.
The portion of fondue fries we ordered to share didn’t come with all the mouth-watering toppings that it was supposed to (they seemed to run out of this quite early on in the night so was clearly a popular item on the menu) but they were still deliciously salty and flavoursome.
I wasn’t expecting the food to blow me away because, let’s face it, a cheese toastie isn’t exactly the most amazing of English delicacies, but this really was the best toastie I have ever had. Alex liked his so much that he looked mighty angry when I asked if I could try a bite!
Due to the popularity, Kitchen Hijack is now a permanent feature at The Job Centre with plenty more street food vendors planned for the coming weeks so get down there to try it out yourself. We’ll definitely be going back!