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RestaurantsLondonBatterseaSW11

survey result

Summary

There’s “always something different and exciting to try” at this “bustling, buzzy and slightly cramped” modern bistro in Battersea, serving “tasty” small plates and with a “brilliant focus on bio/organic/orange wines that not many other places do” (it’s part of Les Caves de Pyrène, which helped put natural wines on the dining map).

£59
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

A sibling of the better-known Terroirs, this “enterprising”, “noisy and buzzy” Battersea bistro offers the same “amazing organic wine list” (“tread carefully”), “plus a mix of small tasting plates”. It’s “not the place to go if you are dieting – the food is extremely rich… but just so good!”

£59
   ££
3
Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

With its “fascinating list of natural wines”, this “authentically French” bistro in Battersea bears the hallmarks of its better-known sibling Terroirs – a “little gem” whose “gutsy” menu is “full of robust flavours” and “top-quality seasonal fare done nicely”. So “go for the wine and fall in love with the food…”

£56
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“The very Gallic staff really know their off-the-beaten-track wines” (the list is “complex”, “a bit of a lottery”, and can be “excellent value”) at this “lively bar-cum-restaurant” in Battersea (a sibling to Terroirs), which serves a “French-accented” menu of “simple and solid” bistro fare.

£55
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

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Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions
60

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £10.00  

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£8.50 £19.50 £8.00 £7.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £25.00
Filter Coffee £3.00
Extras  
Bread £3.00
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Soif SW11

A basically-furnished Battersea bistro/wine bar offshoot of West End hit Terroirs, offering Gallic bistro fare realised to a solid standard; the daily-changing menu, however, struck as as irritatingly esoteric.


So apologetic is the name of this new Battersea wine bar, and so self-effacing its façade, that it's very easy to miss it. But we were on the look-out. As regular customers at Terroirs (West End), and having also liked Brawn (trendy East End) too, we were interested to see how the mini-group's much-applauded approach would translate to an affluent suburb in rather conventional SW London.


They seem to have decided that the only way to deal with the proximity of the Nappy Valley is to do everything possible not to appeal to those pesky kids. So the façade is discreet, and devoid of colours (primary or otherwise), the name is written in almost invisible all-lower-case on the window glass, and the menu - even of a Saturday lunchtime - offers almost nothing that could obviously be described as known, familiar or 'easy'. Tête de veau for the little ones? Probably not.


Knowing many of the staff from Charing Cross, as we inevitably do, it wasn't difficult to summon up the courage to ask them to knock up a rather superior croque-monsieur-style dish for the kids, but from the actual carte there was little any child would have wanted. And it wasn't really just the children. The magic - and it is a sort of magic - of both Terroirs and Brawn is to offer a combination of known and usual bistro/brasserie fare (oysters say, or onglet) as well as a lot of more esoteric (and typically rather fatty) dishes, with an emphasis on charcuterie and cheese. (The management, for example, has an obsession with lardo, which may be both cured and Italian, but which is essentially fat.)


As it is this very combination of the known with the offbeat which is, for us, part of the Terroirs-formula attraction, our Saturday lunchtime was a slight disappointment. If you write restaurant guides for a living, and still find yourself having to ask what a lot of the dishes are - from a daily-changing small/large plate French bistro menu - you can't help feeling some sort of point is being made, and that it is a slightly irritating one. Perhaps if we'd come for an evening visit without the kids - when the extensive wine list would have been more of a point - we might have felt rather differently.


Lunch ended, however, on a high note, which had little to do with novelty. We sense that the chef, who is English, really get into his stride in the final straight, as both a rice pudding, and a sponge made with chestnut flour, were acclaimed by all the family as approaching 'best-ever 'status - an unexpectedly comforting end to a meal which had otherwise seemed just a bit too esoteric.


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27 Battersea Rise, London, SW11 1HG
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Opening hours
Monday6 pm-11 pm
Tuesday6 pm-11 pm
Wednesday6 pm-11 pm
Thursday12 pm-11 pm
Friday12 pm-11 pm
Saturday12 pm-11 pm
Sunday12 pm-4 pm

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