Elegantly housed in Battersea Square, a smartly turned-out brasserie where food and service don’t quite live up to appearances; for oyster-lovers, though, this may be a place worth seeking out.
Initial reactions to this smart Battersea brasserie are largely of surprise. What is this elegant establishment doing, well, here? Brasseries – arguably the most useful of restaurant formats – are still bizarrely rare in London. This one gives an impression of chic and efficiency that seems entirely at odds with its secondary location (and on a site that had been vacant for a number of years too).
Ultimately, though, we felt forced to conclude that this is an establishment which does not succeed in transcending its location. The service remained friendly throughout, but the initial impression of particular efficiency failed to survive till the end of our lunch. The trajectory on the food front was similar – after the (very good) oysters, everything went downhill.
Thanks to the gastropub revolution, customers must have a pretty clear view nowadays as to what constitutes good, straightforward English restaurant cooking, so the ‘fish and chips test’ is a key one. This particular establishment flunked it big time – all three elements of the dish here (including the peas) were dull. Even the room didn’t, ultimately, quite work – a third-full brasserie at lunchtime should not really give the impression that it’s already getting a bit too noisy for comfort.
So, we suspect that this is an establishment which – despite the favourable initial impression it gives – will not make much of an impression beyond the local yuppies. Given the investment that’s gone into the place, that’s clearly a shame.
Choose a less busy time, though, and oyster-lovers might well think this an establishment worth seeking out.