BY PALOMA LACY
The re-development of Battersea power station almost bought a tear to my eye. Well, that was until I saw for myself the very many new dining options it has brought South Londoners. The only problem is that, it’s a bit of maze.
You need a keen sense of direction and satellite navigation to find your destination, but once you do, the trek is well worth it.
I got the feeling that most people still don’t know about the retail and dining spaces that have opened up.
It’s not just for the residents of the swanky new pads, you know. The restaurants are open to all and awaiting a visit from you. Many are on the water’s edge so you might be just as well to arrive by river bus. Don’t forget there are routes from 22 piers between Putney and Woolwich.
Brindisa has succeeded where many restaurants have failed: to offer high-quality food at more than one London location. I wouldn’t quite call it a chain, with all the negative connotations that carries, but it now boasts five London locations, the newest of which is Battersea power station.
Having eaten at two already, I remain surprised, and somewhat in awe, of Brindisa’s ability to turn out dishes of an equivalent excellent standard at the different locations. And Battersea power station is no exception. In fact the stunning location actually made the food taste better than ever. Can you tell I’m a big fan?
In all honesty, it’s not difficult to shine in London’s relative tapas desert, but this makes the experience all the richer. Ham croquettes (£6) always hit the spot, with its creamy centre and crunchy breadcrumb shell. Vegetarians don’t need to miss out with a goat’s cheese and spinach filling also available and dispelling the long held belief that Spanish cuisine doesn’t hold much in store for vegetarians.
My friend and I popped in for a catch up and a few tapas over lunchtime, so we barely scratched the surface of the menu, but can thoroughly recommend chilli and garlic prawns – juicy, doused in fragrant oil (£9.50), Ortiz tuna belly, tomato & guindilla peppers (£7.50) and hand carved, 100 per cent acorn-fed ham from Señorío de Montanera collective, with its nutty texture and a basket of bread was all that was needed.
The menu is on the larger side, but that’s due to the fact that it’s recommended you choose three dishes per person, so there’s no likelihood of repeat visitors suffering boredom. The dishes we missed out on this time were too numerous to note, but those on the hit list for my next visit are smoked anchovies, peaches and bauma curd, and cured smoked beef, dark chocolate and manchego cheese. The question is how long will I be able to wait before returning?
Paloma was a guest of Brindisa, Unit 25, Battersea Power Station, London SW11 8EZ