New look for Trinity
A thrilling art deco-ish makeover at Adam Byatt’s Trinity restaurant means it is more elegant than ever with its new open kitchen, soft jade green and pink colour scheme with plenty of stone and marble and a piazza to look out on. Signature dishes remain, including pig’s trotter with gribeche, lemon sole and seaweed butter, game pot au feu and apple pie and custard, plus there is a £35 set menu. Iconic fine wines will be offered with only VAT & corkage making them extremely alluring. Most exciting is Upstairs at Trinity with a constantly changing menu of 12 highly affordable small plates served at big wooden communal tables. Expect dishes including roast chestnut salad, crab thermidor, game broth and quince and cardamom granita. An absolute must.
The Polygon SW4 OJG; 020 7622 1199; trinityrestaurant.co.uk
Mead is back on the menu
Mead is having a comeback and makes the perfect warming aperitif. Winner of best alcohol at the Young British Foodie Awards was Tom Gosnell who makes his mead in Peckham purely from fermented honey and water with no hops or other additions.
Try at Putney Pies, 2 Putney High Street SW15 1SL; gosnells.co.uk
What’s cooking at Ekachai?
I didn’t expect to find such a mightily impressive bowl of Singapore laksa, bold with its coconut gravy and spices and a decent smattering of seafood, at Wandsworth’s Southside shopping centre. I was surprised by Ekachai and warmed to it immediately as Edy, the exuberantly friendly manager, talked us through his favourites on the Southeast Asian street food (a mix of Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese) menu in great detail. I even managed to zone out of my view of KFC and focus on the pleasing décor of distressed blue up-cycled wood bar, mismatched timber tables and bamboo-lined ceiling. Among small dishes, best was soft shell crab, lightly battered accompanied with a properly, authentic sambal with plenty of kick. Char Sui buns were good and fluffy if rather dense and sparing with the barbecue pork. I couldn’t get enough of coconut water mixed with lychee fruit, lime and soda.
Upper Concourse Southside, Wandsworth SW18 4TE; 020 8871 3888; ekachai.co.uk
Toast Rack comes to Wandsworth Common
Toast lovers rejoice, at newcomer Toast Rack (its location informs the name) Bakery not only does it make and bake all breads freshly on site (potato bread is especially excellent), but each table has its own toaster for DIY customising exactly the level of doneness. My default choice of baked eggs for brunch had extra additions of spinach and chorizo and was tasty and robust even if the eggs were a little overcooked. Coffee by Mathew Algie is impressive. At lunch, they branch out with mains including duck breast, pancetta, peas and caramelised parsnip fish and a veggie option such as parmesan gnocchi with spinach, walnuts and gremolata dressing.
314 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common SW18 3RG; 020 8870 5865; toastrackbakery.co.uk
Foxlow arrives on Bedford Hill
It’s all change on Bedford Hill as Foxlow takes over from Harrison’s. Sibling of the well-known Hawksmoor, the ethos of Foxlow will be great meat from ethically reared animals (Cobble Lane charcuterie, dry-cured steaks and a phenomenal roast longhorn rump with all the trimmings for Sunday lunch), interesting wines from small producers and British craft cocktails. I’m promised pescatarians and vegetarians will have ample choice too.
Naturally leavened, slow fermented bread is so much better on so many levels from taste to digestion to being suitable for those who are gluten sensitive and not giving such dramatic blood sugar spikes.
Bread: Bread, founded by Bridget Hugo, who also co-founded Franca Manca (high recommendation indeed), and baked in huge brick ovens on Brixton/Herne Hill border, this sourdough has exceptional caramelised crust. I especially like the breads using flour from Michael Stoates of Cann Mills in Dorset. £3.48/£4.48 Find it at Moen & Son, 24 The Pavement, Clapham, SW4 OJA; 020 7622 1624; breadbread.co.uk
Esca: Eco pizzeria now make the sourdough bread stocked exclusively at Esca (next door) with its distinctive sour tang and great texture. Buy by the kilo and freeze half. £4.50 a loaf.
Esca, 160A Clapham High Street SW4 7UG; 020 7622 2288; escadeli.co.uk
Hedone at Bayley & Sage: Fanatical, self-taught chef Mikael Jonsson of Hedone makes the best sourdough in London according to Fay Maschler, restaurant critic doyenne of Evening Standard. It has an exceptional close crumb texture and a light yet deeply robust crust. Choose from white or brown. £3.95.
60 High Street, SW19 5EE; 020 8946 9904; bayley-sage.co.uk