RESTAURANT REVIEW: LONDON HOUSE, BATTERSEA

The service just needs to relax a bit but the menu is great value for cooking at this level, finds Sudi Pigott of Gordon Ramsay’s Battersea restaurant London House

I feel like shouting: ‘Gordon’s not in the house. You can all relax…’ I know the restaurant has only been open a matter of days and the boss may show up at any time, yet the food is already amazing: sophisticated, impeccable and above all, flavourful so a bit more informal friendliness rather than an over eagerness to please would go down a treat in the dining room. Really, it would. What’s more, the menu, especially at lunchtime is great value for cooking at this level (£28 for three courses, £36 at dinner) and I’d like it to become a regular. So the service just needs to relax a bit and they need to be sure to check they’re giving the ordered dishes to the right customer.

gremolata (a parsley, garlic mix encrusted yellow-fin tuna tartare

Tuna tartare with a parsley and garlic crust

Even Victoria Beckham, who presumably will be a habitue, with her “atelier” down the road would approve of my gremolata (a parsley, garlic mix encrusted yellow-fin tuna tartare with surprising and wholly successful accompaniments of anchovy for that umami hit and earthy walnut to balance the raw fish freshness and clean texture. The requisite creaminess of griddled scallops are perfectly balanced with a refreshing waldorf salad of apple, celery and walnut. Though I guess Posh Spice would have resisted the great, warm bread served in little hessian bags. We didn’t. I loved both our main dishes. The combination of sea bass with slow-cooked fennel, delectable sardine beignet and a bergamot (especially fragrant variety of Italian lemon) sauce was the sort of dish I could eat time and time again and will have to return to order for myself as I couldn’t leave my guest’s portion alone.

Seared Scottish scallops, apple, celery and walnut salad at London House

Seared Scottish scallops, apple, celery and walnut salad

My Cumbrian beef fillet with outrageously unctuous and deeply savoury braised beef cheek stuffed potato gnocchi, a dish requiring considerable technical confidence and verve to pull off was outstanding too. Desserts are exceptionally toothsome: pleasingly booze-soaked rum baba managed to be mesmerisingly light too. Crushed nougat with cream was prettily served with the requisite smeared comma of rhubarb puree, though we would have preferred a whole pool of rhubarb. My only caveat is the dull décor. Though I did like the paintings and the lounge has a relatively comfy vibe with cool contemporary fireplace and an amazing cocktail list which can be enjoyed without necessarily booking dinner. The quaintly named One Hundred Years Old Fizz, a winning combination of Ketel Vodka, tangy sea buckthorn juice (presumably foraged on the English coast), sparkling English wine, honey and ginger has to be sampled. Would I return? Unquestionably.

London House, 7-9 Battersea Square SW11 3RA; 020 7592 8545; gordonramsay.com/londonhouse

To read our interview with London House head chef Anna Haugh-Kelly click here

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