RESTAURANT REVIEW: QUEENSWOOD, BATTERSEA SQUARE

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What is the Queenswood, Battersea Square like? In three words: Exciting, Impressive, Delectable

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The Lowdown: Those who haven’t visited Battersea Square, you’re in for a treat – this delightful little haven, not ten minutes from the high street, is a slice of cosmopolitan chic. And now there is even more reason to visit, as a gorgeous new restaurant has opened to transport you even further across the globe.

Queenswood is brought to you by the guys behind Soho’s popular Damson and Co, and brings an eclectic mix of cultures and techniques to the plate, guaranteed to excite your tastebuds and make you fall in love with their innovative food combinations.

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Location: The very pretty Battersea Square – with it’s cobbles, squares and flora then there is sense that you could be a million miles away from London.

The Occasion: This is a lovely place to come on a date – there’s a sense of intimate seduction to the place, and it’s ideal for getting closer by trying each others food (in other words, expect to want a mouthful of everything). The atmosphere is relaxed though, and there were several groups of friends having a great time.

Decor: Burnished metal, polished wood floors, cool exposed lighting and the odd bit of shrubbery to add some zen – we loved the interior design of Queenswood. It’s sexed-up-brasserie at it’s best.

Atmosphere: Buzzing, bubbling, chattering and yet not raucous – a great balance between somewhere to kick back and have a good time, while also feeling rather special. A rare treat indeed.

Culinary Concept: There is a focus on fresh cuisine and the best quality, but there’s no playing it safe here – expect twists and surprises that will make you clap in delight as you scan the menu.

What we tried: A plate of Kombu and Wakame seaweed served with samphire and pak choi set our palates dancing immediately, with all the umami taste and sesame goodness of the asian dressing. Crisp as a wave at dawn, and packed full of flavour, we were enamoured immediately. A starter of Squid Tempura was chunky, generous, sprinkled with heat-giving chilli and completely un-greasy, which we appreciated. A real revelation was the Smoked Duck Breast. Tender and succulent, it filled our mouths with an autumnal haze, bringing to mind bonfires and comfort. The accompanying green beans added crunch, while the orange and grapefruit gave the plate a delicious zing. Very assured flavour and texture combinations are a theme throughout all the dishes.

For main course I couldn’t resist the Cod Supreme Filet. It was the mirin & wasabi coating that got me, and I wasn’t disappointed. A great slab of fish that could have just been landed, flaking into perfectly cooked white shards and delicious when munched with the soy beans. The two summer rolls that it rested upon added even more Asian authenticity. My partner decided on the Pork Chop – before he devoured it all I managed to snaffle a bite, and can confirm it as being one of the most flavoursome pieces of meat I’ve tried in recent times. There was such a burst of taste that it hardly needed the caramelised cabbage, baked apple and bacon – but of course these additions only made the dish even more superb. Two very clean plates were left for the charming waiting staff.

We eschewed the chocolate choice on the dessert menu – the food at Queenswood leaves you feeling fresh and satisfied, and so we instead shared the Baked English Apple with coconut yogurt, resting upon a sumptuous piece of French Toast. Just decadent enough while still ever so slightly virtuous!

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For next time: The Lamb Chops marinated in Indian spices with saffron rice, lime, fresh mint & coriander looks divine, as does the Salt Crust Sea Bass, and all the vegetarian dishes. Everything, really.

Veggie delights: There are heaps of options for vegetarians – and to be honest, meat eaters might find themselves going for these options too. The Pumpkin Israeli Couscous or Quinoa and Beetroot look tasty, and I’m dying to try the Vegan Green Risotto – made with chlorophyll herbs stock, soy beans, green tea matcha and smoked tofu. Mmm.

Best of the booze: The cocktail list will have you salivating even before you see the food – the Negroni made with rosemary infused gin packed a helluva punch and filled the senses with herbaceous zest. The Pear Blossom, using fresh fruit, Cocchi Americano, pear liquor and thyme was more delicate and brought to mind an English garden at dusk. And don’t leave without giving the Hemp Old-Fashioned a go – made using unpaged rye spirit, it’s a real game changer.

Overall: Queenswood is already finding fans amongst those who have visited – people are waxing lyrical about this new establishment and they found themselves with a packed-out soft opening. It’s certainly not the kind of restaurant to open quietly – there’s a confidence to the whole place, from the interior design, to the assured staff, to the bold menu. Flavours abound with the vibrancy of a primary-school paintbox, and even the most seasoned gastronomer should be impressed with some of the combinations. Foodies of London – take a little trip to Battersea Square and feel yourself transported to a world of exciting cuisine.

Follow them on Twitter @QueenswoodLDN

BOE Magazine

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