Posts for the 'SW15' Category


Bibo

Bibo is the latest venture by Rebecca Mascarenhas, a restaurateur known for the Michelin Starred Kitchen W8 and the acclaimed Sonny’s Kitchen in Barnes, both of which are collaborations with Philip Howard of The Square. With Bibo, Rebecca has gone Italian. Head chef Chris Beverley, previously at Theo Randall at the InterContinental, has created a modern Italian menu that focuses on seasonality, freshness and simplicity. The wine list is Italian as well and includes a list of approximately 60 bins covering regional Italy.

Located in Putney, Bibo goes about bringing a sense of warmth to its interior. The long painted brickwork dining room and bar has been fitted with a mixture of artworks, bespoke light fittings and comforting oak wood furniture. Bibo is informal and relaxed with an inviting neighbourhood feel to it, made all the enjoyable with its welcoming and friendly service.

We started with an antipasta of prosciutto di San Daniele (£8.50) which was wonderful with a robust yet sweet flavour. It came with some juicy and ripe Sicilian melon that paired perfectly with the prosciutto.

Bibo - Prosciutto & melon

Prosciutto & melon

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Enoteca Turi

Enoteca Turi is a family-run Italian restaurant in Putney which specialises in regional Italian cuisine. Opened by owner Giuseppe Turi in 1990 (hence the name), this restaurant is still going strong after two decades, and can be considered something of a Putney institution given the proliferation of chain restaurants which have emerged on the High Street in recent years. Giuseppe can still be seen walking around the restaurant floor, and you know pride and care has been placed into every detail of the restaurant. I have eaten at Enoteca Turi before and enjoyed the food very much. This time around I dined as a guest of the restaurant.

A classic Venetian dish of smoked haddock mantecato (£7.75) was lovely. Similar to a pâté blended with a little olive oil, it wasn’t particularly smoky, but the fish flavour was rich and distinctive. It was accompanied by a trio of polenta crostini with pepper, cauliflower and green beans topped with polenta crisps. The polenta crostini was a little dull, but the red peppers were sweet, and the cauliflower and green beans were cooked al dente. The beans had been finished with a drizzling of some fantastic homemade pesto.

Smoked haddock mantecato

Smoked haddock mantecato

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Wallace & Co

Note: This restaurant has now closed.

Wallace & Co.

Wallace & Co.

Wallace & Co is the new cafe/restaurant (opened about three weeks) undertaking by Greg Wallace of Masterchef fame. You know, the self-proclaimed “cooking woman’s crumpet”. The happy chappy with the shiny skull and the big booming voice, who along with John Torode, came up with some rather memorable (or depending on your viewpoint – laughable) turns of phrase on the show. Wallace & Co is located in Putney, rather than the more competitive locales of Central London, and it looks the part of a wholesome neighbourhood restaurant. It’s cosy, airy and spacious, and decorated in warm green and beige colours, it feels so homely that you can’t help but want to go in and sip a cappuccino or two.

The centrepiece at the front of the restaurant is a huge wooden table, littered with scrumptious looking baked goods. There is also a take-away salad bar, and, something that should come as no surprise, vegetables for purchase (Greg is a wholesale greengrocer after all – his business is called Secrett’s Direct). Behind the front section is the split level dining area.

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Royal China Putney

Lobster noodles

Lobster noodles

For those of you familiar with the Royal China chain, it would be easy to assume that the Royal China in Putney is part of this established group of restaurants. It isn’t, although it was the original restaurant that spawned the rest. The Putney branch broke away some years ago and it operates as an independent establishment even though it still shares a name with the well known group.

My interest in Royal China Putney has been alive and kicking for a while now, spurred by a recommendation from the mother of one of my Chinese friends. She and her Hong Kong University alumni friends have tried this dish at various restaurants in London and they consider Royal China Putney’s lobster noodles to be the best in London.

But my motivation for coming here was twofold, as I also wanted to dispel the myth/rumour that exists in some food circles that Mandarin Kitchen in Bayswater has the best lobster noodles in London. In my opinion, it doesn’t. I tried their version about a year and a half ago (pre-blog) and was hugely disappointed. The noodles turned up in a few short minutes, suggesting that they had been pre-cooked and then reheated just before service. And that’s how they tasted, as they lacked that quintessential zing that comes with food that has been cooked à la minute. The lobster also lacked flavour and overall the noodles were lacklustre. Thereafter I hatched a plan to find something better in its place.

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