The White Onion

  • Restaurants
  • French
1 Love It
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
© Britta Jaschinski
Wimbledon Village
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As surely as the fans gather to holler and groan on Murray Mount, Wimbledon is about to headline the sports news for another fortnight. This leafy suburb gets an annual fillip of well-heeled visitors in the wake of The Championships. Yet Wimbledon Village, which is where the taxis ferry the smart set, struggles to cope with the summer influx. The High Street barely has enough cafés and pubs for the extra custom, let alone fine-dining venues catering for big spenders.

The White Onion is SW19’s newest destination restaurant. With an excellent match record at the French Table in Surbiton, Eric and Sarah Guignard have opened this branch with a steady hand. From the courteous service to the recitation of the day’s vegetarian dishes, you can tell The White Onion’s no arriviste. You’re dealing with pros, ready for a culinary Grand Slam.

The cooking here can be elaborate and showy, in a way you can find in affluent French towns. A starter of French white asparagus is served with a butter sauce flavoured with orange and cardamom. As if those flavours aren’t frou-frou enough, there’s also a mimosa-style garnish; that is, egg yolk and white separated and finely chopped, for visual impact.

The simpler dishes were the most satisfying. Herdwick lamb was full-flavoured, yet the meat tender and red; it takes both great produce and skill in the kitchen to produce such a flawless dish. A French accent was added to the British meat with little dabs of garlic emulsion, smoked aubergine purée and a jus flavoured with a hint of lavender. Cannelloni of Dorset crab was even more impressive, garnished with seafood foam. But it wasn’t all show, as the crab was sea-fresh and the pasta delicately thin.

The dessert list includes a pavé (literally, ‘cobblestone’) of hazelnut mousse – but with a crisp embedded in it like the edge of a tennis racket, which made us think of the era when John McEnroe’s temper tantrums had the umpires ducking for cover.

‘Is it a special occasion?’ the receptionist enquired when I made the dinner booking. But the whole of Wimbledon fortnight is a special occasion for The White Onion, as the opening hours are extended to lunch and dinner every day except Sundays. Game, set, and match: this restaurant is is already Wimbledon’s champion of 2015.

Venue name: The White Onion
Address: 67 High Street
SW19 5EE
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30 Fri-Sun. Dinner served 7-10.30pm Tue-Thur, 6.30-10.30pm Fri, Sat.
Transport: Tube: Wimbledon tube/rail/tram
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Replacing The Lawn Bistro at the hub of Wimbledon Village, The White Onion launched in May 2015 and a friend and I were one of the first to sample their contemporary French dishes and wine. The restaurant itself is pristinely designed (as expected from a brand spanking new restaurant) with a dark teal and white walls, chesterfield-style leather seating and an array of mismatched framed prints on the walls.

There was an excellent range of old and new world wines and we shared a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand to accompany our dishes:


-Terrine of rabbit and ham hock with green olives and foie gras with home-made piccalilli and toasted walnut bread

-Honey roast quail with pistachio puree, celeriac remoulade, crispy quail egg and chicken jus


-Roast cod with broccoli fondue – broccoli puree, fine pomme darphin, lemon and thyme beurre blanc.

-Duo of Dingley Dell pork belly – mini burger with foie gras and caramelised pork belly with glazed asparagus.


-Chocolate moelleux with honeycomb and salted caramel ice cream.

The food was remarkable! The quail was beautifully crisp and juicy and I absolutely loved the unique pistachio puree and mini scotch quail egg accompaniments. The pork belly was served deconstructed with textures I’ve never encountered before that were nothing but moreish and the dessert was rich and gooey. The only negative things were slightly over toasted burger buns and the honeycomb softening on top of the lava cake, which turned it into a dentist’s worst nightmare, extremely sticky and chewy!

The service was spot on and I cannot recommend this restaurant enough, just be prepared to spend a little more than your average dinner (~£10 for starters and ~£20 for mains).