Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Eat local, live longer! (Ok I made up the last bit...)

So with Choux Boy's birthday rolling up this Sunday it means I'm thinking about one thing: no not presents, food. Brunch, cake, dinner: what is a girl to do? Well take a hint is a good start and the Boy want meat. So we're off to check out Santa Maria del Sur up the road in Battersea to gorge ourselves on red meat and red wine all afternoon... a rosy review to follow natch. But in the meantime, to whet your South London eating appetite here's a few choice bites reviewed for the lovely people at Heaver magazine... check out your delivered copy for more if you live in SW (blatant plug).

Lamberts, Balham (SW12)
A bastion for great British produce, Lamberts prides itself on the quality of its ingredients. With seasonality and sourcing top of the agenda, everything on the monthly-changing menu is British from land or sea. There’s no pretence in the understated taupe decor and that ethos applies to the expertly executed dishes as well – chunky chicken and pork terrine with homemade bread and chutneys on wooden slabs, game of the day (‘pheasant, but it’s probably the last of it’ notes owner Joe Lambert who passes on his knowledge and enthusiasm for the food as he serves tables) fresh with shot and thyme potatoes. With food this good, the midweek set menu (Tuesday to Thursday) two courses or £17, three for £20, has to be the best bargain in London.

2 Station Parade
Balham High Road
SW12 9AZ
020 8675 2233

Lola Roja, Battersea and Fulham 
(SW11 and SW6)
As close as you’ll get to modern Spanish cuisine without swapping SW for Espana, the popularity of Lola Roja’s table-packed Battersea original saw it branch out last year, opening a second restaurant over the river in Fulham. Recently named Time Out’s best Spanish restaurant, the flavours are classic (chorizo, calamari and croquettes naturally make an appearance) but created with contemporary style – chive foam with the calamari and delicately-flavoured light croquettes make way for melt-in-the-mouth suckling pig with apple puree. The wine list too is a showcase for Spanish flair inviting you to explore bottles grouped under tempting titles: ‘The zenith - elegant, refined and fabulous’ and ‘Brooding, intense and delicious – wines to linger over’. But leave room for dessert – the white chocolate soup with mango ice cream is worth a little lingering for.

Lola Roja
78 Northcote Road
SW11 6QL
020 7350 2262

140 Wandsworth Bridge Road
020 7371 8392

Four O Nine, Clapham (SW9)
Everyone loves a secret, but Four O Nine is one you’ll want to share, at least with that special someone. A buzzer marks the discreet entrance across from Clapham North tube: press and give the codeword (ok, your name) to be granted entry. A concrete stairwell and deserted roof garden lead to a candle-lit dining room, it’s no surprise that is was voted the most romantic dining room in London by a national newspaper when it opened in 2006. Food is Anglo-French fare with an inventive twist – the obligatory foie gras starter is given a tangy twist with pineapple and macadamia nut chutney, while mains are minus the usual French richness so you don’t have to feel guilty about that extra dessert cocktail from the well-stocked speak-easy style bar.

Four O Nine
409 Clapham Road
020 7737 0722

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