Boqueria Market

BOQUERIA MARKET

Boqueria Market on Queenstown Road is the second branch of Boqueria, a Spanish tapas restaurant group. I visited the original Boqueria on Acre Lane in Brixton about 18 months ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The food was fresh and wholesome and the service was lovely. So once again I found myself south of the river to discover what Boqueria Market had to offer.

Boqueria Market is a really smart looking restaurant. The setting is intimate and the lighting is soft. The restaurant feels relaxed, yet there is a buzzy vibe to it that makes for an engaging dining experience. The menu is similar to the Acre Lane branch and includes a selection of traditional and contemporary tapas as well as a lovely variety of Spanish wines and sherries.

We began our meal with the premium jamón ibérico puro bellota (acorn-fed pure breed Iberico ham – large plate for £18). This was delicious with an intensely sweet flavour and earthy, nutty overtones. The pieces of fat running through the jamón were delicious too, with a melting, soft quality.

London food blog Boqueria - Jamón Ibérico

Boqueria – Jamón Ibérico

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Soif

Soif is owned by the same group who own Terroirs. When I visited Terroirs in 2009 shortly after it opened, I thought it to be one of the most exciting wine bar and restaurants to grace the London stage. Well priced, heartfelt, rustic French cooking in an atmospheric central London location – what could be better? The offerings of ‘natural’ wines at decent prices worked a charm too. The wine bar and restaurant was obviously so successful that it spawned a second, Brawn in East London, and then the third, Soif in South London.

Like Terroirs, Soif offers a reasonable range of tasting portions for sharing and main sized meals, as well as a selection of ‘natural’ wines. We started with the charcuterie platter (£12.50) of pork terrine, rillette and Toscana salami. I loved, loved, loved the rillette at Terroirs and so this was the part of the platter that I was looking forward to the most. Instead I found the version at Soif to be overly fatty and not particularly enjoyable with a disproportionately high ratio of fat to meat. The terrine on the other hand was meaty and flavoursome. The salami was also good.

Charcuterie selection

Charcuterie selection

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The Fish Place

It has to be said that eating in a restaurant with no other guests feels rather odd – it makes for a deathly quiet experience. That is what happened to me when I visited The Fish Place as a guest of the restaurant recently. It opened in the middle of November, and is situated in a rather obscure spot, right near the heliport in Battersea overlooking the Thames. It’s pretty tricky to find, and the best way seems to be to look for the Hotel Verta and head to the left of it (you’ll get what I mean if you ever decide to go and look for the restaurant). I imagine not being on some major thoroughfare, its newness, and the fact that it was bitterly cold when I went were the reasons behind the zilch guest list.

But let’s talk about the food. As you probably guessed, this is a seafood restaurant. For the first amuse bouche, we had the fish veloute with pernod and parsley cream which is also listed as a starter on the menu. Thick and creamy, this was really lovely and nicely reduced to produce a good strong flavour of seafood.

Fish veloute

Fish veloute

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