Why head into town for dinner when Battersea has some fantastic neighbourhood restaurants? The Resident picks out 11 of its favourites, serving up everything from authentic Italian to Vietnamese pho and French fancies…
Lead image: Little Bird, Battersea
1 Little Bird, Battersea Rise
For founder Lorraine Angliss, food became a fascination when she was young, watching her mother work in their little cafe on Hayling Island in the swinging 60s. And so she set up Little Bird Cocktail Lounge & Restaurant in Chiswick, serving up bespoke cocktails alongside Asian-inspired dishes come with Med twists, prepared by great chefs using locally sourced produce. The vibrant, quirky venue won the accolade of one of Square Meal’s Best New Bars in 2016, spurring Lorraine on to open Little Bird Battersea earlier this year to serve more of the same down south.
1 Battersea Rise SW11 1EG; 020 7324 7714; littlebirdrestaurants.com
2 Nutbourne, Parkgate Road
Already known for the success of their first two restaurants, The Shed in Notting Hill and Rabbit on the King’s Road, country boys Richard, Oliver and Gregory Gladwin recently launched Nutbourne in Battersea – a ‘bucolic brasserie’ named after the family farm. So now you only have to go as far as Battersea Bridge to consume the spoils of the English countryside. The produce is from the farm, foraged for in the wild or else sourced sustainably from local suppliers. Try the Lulworth scallop with leeks, candied lemon and langoustine sauce followed by roast pollock, sea herbs. salsify and champagne sauce, and quaff the boys’ signature Sussex Reserve NV from their vineyard. At weekends, you’ll find foodies of all ages enjoying the sweet cured bacon.
35-37 Parkgate Road, Battersea SW11 4NP; 020 7350 0555; nutbourne-restaurant.com
3 Gazette Brasserie
Gazette Brasserie, which has branches in Battersea, Balham and Putney, as well as the new Bellevue near Wandsworth Common, celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Run by Pascal Even (who had a formidable classical training in Paris working with iconic Michelin star chefs like Michel Rostang) and Walter Lecoq (who had similarly illustrious training under the legendary Alain Ducasse), dishes are seasonal and creative, using unfamiliar ingredients like chervil root from Brittany, which is nutty and sweet. The atmosphere is convivial French, as is the food, with regulars returning again and again for the steak frites made with impeccably bred Irish 30 day aged beef, double cooked fries and béarnaise that’s made fresh daily. Oh and the set lunch is a snip at £11.
79 Sherwood Court, Chatfield Road SW11 3UY; 020 7223 09 99; gazettebrasserie.co.uk
The food at London House is sophisticated, impeccable and, above all, flavourful. What’s more, the lunchtime set menu is great value for cooking at this level (£22 for three courses, £17 for two). Try starters like gremolata (a parsley, garlic mix encrusted yellow-fin tuna tartare with accompaniments of anchovy and earthy walnut), and creamy griddled scallops with waldorf salad, followed by mains like sea bass with slow-cooked fennel, sardine beignet and bergamot sauce, or Cumbrian beef fillet with unctuous braised beef cheek stuffed potato gnocchi. The quaintly named One Hundred Years Old Fizz – a winning combo of Ketel Vodka, tangy sea buckthorn juice, sparkling English wine, honey and ginger – is a great cocktail.
London House, 7-9 Battersea Square SW11 3RA; 020 7592 8545; gordonramsay.com/londonhouse
5-9 Battersea Rise SW11 1HG; 020 7078 9630; thebreakfastclubcafes.com
6 Powderkeg Diplomacy, St John’s Hill
Victorian-themed bar and restaurant Powderkeg Diplomacy on St John’s Hill is a wonderfully atmospheric hangout, complete with a foliage-swathed Victorian hothouse out back. Staff and service are great, as are delights such as Slow Cooked Ox Cheek with Sweet Potato, Cavolo Nero, Shallot and Pine Nuts, and the fantastic Roasted Fillet of Cod with Pearl Barley Risotto and Cider Poached Mussels. They also have an impressive weekend brunch menu featuring no fewer than six takes on the Bloody Mary.
147 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 1TQ; 020 7450 6457; powderkegdiplomacy.co.uk
7 Valentina, Lavender Hill
The pizza frittas at Valentina – simple strips of pizza dough, fried and sprinkled with rock salt and crack black pepper, soft in the middle and crispy on the outside – are enough to have you coming back here again and again. The Italian deli and restaurant is the brainchild of two families, the Zoccola and Arcari families, who opened the first Valentina in East Sheen in 1991 (there are now nine in London and the Home Counties). The signature pizza, Bianca Valentina – hand-kneaded dough topped with Parma ham, rich Fior de Latter mozzarella, rocket, parmesan shavings with a black truffle oil – will not disappoint. There are also great pasta dishes and mains such as steak, sea bream and rump of lamb.
281 Lavender Hill SW11 1LP; 020 3841 1610; valentinafinefoods.com
8 Pho, Battersea Rise
The Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho doesn’t take reservations, but it has four separate rooms and space for 90 diners. The interior decor is slick. Outside its contemporary black-tiled exterior shines while inside a combination of natural materials, such as reclaimed woods and wicker lampshades, set the scene. The menu features a wide range of pho (Vietnam’s national dish, an aromatic rice noodle broth) as well as Vietnamese salads, noodle dishes and curries. Try the fried baby squid with a zesty and distinctive salt, pepper and lime dip or the homemade pork and lemongrass meatballs that you wrap in lettuce to eat. The pho is generously sized, and the house special with tiger prawns, tofu and flash-fried steak is packed with flavour. The hot and spicy brisket beef is pretty good too.
50-52 Battersea Rise SW11 1EG; 020 3058 1756; phocafe.co.uk
9 Sinabro, Battersea Rise
Set up by French chef Yoann Chevet and his wife Sujin, Sinabro means ‘to advance or progress’ in Korean, where Sujin is from. While Yoann’s background is French haute cuisine (formerly working at L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon, Hélène Darroze at The Connaught and Galvin at Windows), the duo has decided to break away from traditional French methods and describe their food as Bistronomique – a cross between Bistro and Gastronomique. Fridays and Saturdays dinner service is a 5-course tasting menu for £49pp (plus an additional £39 for matching wines), with the likes of foie gras terrine with French green bean salad, roasted hazelnut and mushroom salad, Fjord cod with cauliflower tabbouleh and pomegranate, and guineafowl supreme with girolles, leek and shallot puree on the menu.
28 Battersea Rise, SW11 1EE 020 3302 3120; sinabro.co.uk
The third out of four restaurants for the Terroirs group, Soif follows in its siblings footsteps championing natural wine and small independent producers and serving rustic French dishes that change with the season. The décor matches this style, knick knacks from French antique markets and a giant black board give it a cool Parisian bistro vibe, while at the back of the restaurant an open kitchen serves food that is big on flavour and small on fuss. Charcuterie plates, duck rillettes and lamb sweetbreads sit alongside the likes of pork belly with puy lentils and a fantastic selection of cheeses.
27 Battersea Rise SW11 1HG; 020 7223 1112; soif.co
11 Ben’s Canteen, St John’s Hill
Ben’s Canteen is down here at number 11 not because we don’t think much of it, but because it’s not really a restaurant, it’s like more of a pub. Somewhere you can hangout and get some good food, without feeling the pressure to put away six pints of Kronenberg. Much like a canteen, in fact, but with cocktails. Ben’s Canteen first opened in Battersea in 2011 and has since been joined by a sister Canteen in Earlsfield, so it’s fair to say that South West Londoners like Ben. The all-day hangout does everything from brunch (both at weekends and on weekdays) to cocktails, and has a wicked range of burgers, including a Korean Fried Chicken Burger, an Awesome Veggie Burger and a Chilli Cheese Burger. If brunching, try Ben’s Canteen’s Banana Pancakes, or for a more exotic bite opt for a Breakfast Burrito filled with spicy chorizo, scrambled egg, sour cream, coriander and melted cheese.
140 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 1SL; 020 722 83260; benscanteen.com
This post is sponsored by Little Bird Battersea