FOOD NEWS IN SOUTH-WEST LONDON THIS JULY
From new restaurants to the latest ingredient trends, Sudi Pigott rounds up the latest foodie news in South West London this July
1. THE WHITE ONION OPENS IN WIMBLEDON
Chorizo bread is a first for me and one of many delicious, thoughtful details at The White Onion which has succeeded Lawn Bistro in Wimbledon. I’m delighted that an independent, modern French restaurant with such a grown-up, civilised feel is continuing in the heart of the Village. Even more so as its’ owners are Eric and Sarah Guignord of much praised The French Table in Surbiton and the chef is Frédérick Duvel who has long worked with them.
The menu has plenty of inventive flavour combinations. Among starters luscious diver caught scallops are served with delectable pork belly, cauliflower purée, apple gel, miso caramel dressing. Cannelloni of Dorset crab with julienne vegetables, lime leaf and crab sauce is delicate if a little underwhelming. Monkfish wrapped in crisp potato with chorizo and broad bean risotto with chorizo froth looks and tastes superb: fresh yet earthy. Properly pink Herdwick lamb cutlet and belly comes with a pretty tart of artichoke brulee, fresh peas and rosemary sauce. Desserts are classic French patisserie – hazelnut and coffee pave stands out. Good unusual, wines by the glass including Slovenian Sauvignon Blanc. Service is super attentive. The sea-blue interior with a mass of prints is calming. The back room with conservatory roof would be especially good for small private parties.
67 High Street, SW19 5EE 0208 947 8278; thewhiteonion.co.uk
Brixton is booming. New Pop Brixton, a self-styled, start-up campus, housed entirely in recycled sea containers is sure to make it an even hotter culinary destination. New foodie businesses there include Kricket. It’s a thrilling first venture by Will Bowlby who learned to cook in Mumbai and at Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Kitchen together with his business partner Rik Campbell. Small plates mixing Indian spicing with British seasonal ingredients are served up alongside cocktails.
Enticing dishes include samphire pakoras with date chutney, spiced padron peppers and my favourite bhel puri with raw mango and tamarind. Zoe Adjonyoh of Ghana’s Kitchen fresh from her Clapham pop-up (reviewed in May) is opening her first permanent site. So too are San Sebastian inspired pinxtos specialists Donostia Social Club. Small retail businesses include a Matcha specialist.
53 Brixton Station Road SW9 8PQ; popbrixton.org
3. BLACKBIRD BAKERY BRINGS NEW LUNCH OPTIONS TO BALHAM
Not only is the sourdough excellent, there’s a huge range of delicious snacks for instant lunches at Blackbird Bakery, new to Hildreth Street. I’m especially partial to the Scotch eggs, Lebanese pastries, tortilla and mini quiches. Among pastries, I recommend the coconut covered lamington’s, wickedly rich buttery eccles cakes and palmiers. Favourite cakes remain lemon polenta and pecan pie. It’s a cheery place to sit in with bright yellow walls(or outside too) for coffee or lunch. Homemade soups are excellent too. Everything is baked in house using impeccable organic and fairtrade ingredients – a real asset to Balham.
12 Hildreth Street, Balham; blackbirdbakerylondon.co.uk
4. TOZI: A RARE FOODIE FIND IN VICTORIA
Ciccheti in Victoria is a real look up for the area which I find mostly rather dull for eating venues (though much change is afoot). Head chef at Tozi is Maurilio Molteni, hot from Soho House. It is a vast venue, though warm and inviting with lots of marble, wood, black and white Italian photos and a tempting walk-up charcuterie counter and lavish displays of veg.
It’s easy to get carried away in ordering. I especially enjoyed an artichoke, pea, sprouting brocoli salad, cod vongole with broad beans and parsley, and a huge wood-roasted oven spianata – virtually a whole pizza with aubergine, ricotta and pancetta besides my favourite burrata with heritage tomatoes.
8 Gillingham Street, SW1V iHJ 0207 769 9771; tozirestaurant.co.uk
5. NEW BOOK ALERT: THE NAKED DIET
The Naked Diet is the brilliant all encompassing title of a hugely appealing new book by Balham author/cookery teacher Tess Ward. It’s all about changing one’s mindset to simplify what we put in our body without sacrificing taste, so cleaner, simpler foods that give us more energy, help us lose weight and cleanse. I like chapter headings including Stripped, Undressed, Raw, Detox. Recipes include seabass ceviche with avocado, pomegranate; cauliflower couscous; crab with sea spaghetti, soba noodles with mango and sesame.
Published by Quadrille £16.99; tessward.com