Monday, July 13, 2015

Harrison's, Balham (UK) by Bureaucrat

It's been about five years since I bid farewell to dreary London.  Back then, I had some good eats in London (such as Petersham Nurseries, Wahaca and Skylon) but, overall, I was kinda disappointed with what was on offer.  In rounding off my whirlwind trip to Paris, I hopped onto the Eurostar to re-live 24 hours in ye olde London to visit my Antipodean buddy Ms S.

Since I last saw Ms S, she is now married and with a gorgeous baby, and living in southside of London.  Not only was I was super happy to see her, but this visit allowed me to see a side of London that I never thought could exist.  It seems like London is starting to 'get' cafe society. With baby in tow, we had lunch at Harrison's.  It's an upmarket but casual cafe/restaurant/bar. It's part-owned by one of my favourite chefs, Rick Stein (see here for my review of his Seafood Restaurant and his amazing fish and chippery).

We both went for a two course lunch deal - a really good value at 13.50 pounds per person. For entrees, I went for the beetroot and blood orange salad, goats' curd, hazelnut dressing.  In the two years that I had lived in London, I had never eaten anything that looked like this - fresh produce, simple flavours and a certain lightness to the dish.  It tasted as good as it looked - the juicy, sweet blood oranges was delicious with the creamy curd and the heirloom beetroots gave the dish a nice crunch and earthiness.

Ms S went for the salt and pepper squid with Thai chilli sauce. I didn't get to try this but the squid looked fresh and tender; and the batter was light as air.

For mains, we both went for the fish cake that came with courgette ribbons and beurre blanc.

It was a sizeable fish cake that was packed full of tender cod and had a nice crisp crust.  We were both rather hoping that the egg on top was poached and would have a lovely gooey yolk, but instead it was fully cooked.

I also got a freshly squeezed juice.

Verdict: we loved it

I'm amazed that such food exists in London! If I lived in this area, this could so easily be my local cafe.  Service is friendly, attentive and is kid-friendly too.  Ms S tells me that the bar is pretty good here too.

Click to add a blog post for Harrison's on Zomato 

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