I was early for an appointment nearby so just popped in without any expectations.... only to find I'd hit up a tranquil haven of deliciousness. I shopped for vegan goodies, enjoyed lovely soya hot chocolate with delicious choc & chilli cake, and then found they do interesting wines by the glass..... I was a bit late for my appointment.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu May 9 2013
By Tania Ballantine
Barely bigger than a postage stamp, this café-deli only has a dozen seats, but it punches well above its weight. Gourmet groceries come from near and far: organic bread from the Celtic Bakers; truffled Salami from Italy; and ‘Silent Slasher’ bottled beer, from a brewery called (yes, you guessed it), Dorset Piddle.
Urban Gourmet’s also one of the few places in the capital to find Bookhams’, a British rennet-free ‘parmesan’. Special dietary needs are certainly well catered for, with vegan savoury pastries and gluten-free cakes (lemon semolina, say). Yet the sell-out item (from Surrey cake-maker Flossy Cockles), is one of pure decadence: a double-decker chocolate ganache cake, fully encased in Maltesers.
Owner Elizabeth Bell is an ex-Sydneysider who now calls Battersea home. On our visit, she was bustling away in the kitchen, popping out every so often to check the customers were happy. We were.
Our ‘Greek’ salad was more a homage to Aussie Greek cooking than anything you’d find in the Aegean, but was zingy and full-flavoured nonetheless, combining crumbly, salty feta; chunky ripe tomatoes; and gutsy green olives with a tumble of lettuce, basil and parsley. We also enjoyed a warmly spiced spinach and lentil soup, served with dinky slices of terrific olive bread. Only a veggie pasty (billed as a 'samosa'), with its dry pastry and underseasoned filling, showed a momentary blip in proceedings. Urban Gourmet may be small, but on the whole, it’s beautiful.
Urban Gourmet 201 St John's Hill
Average User Rating
5 / 5
- 5 star:3
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- 1 star:0
The staff here are extremely friendly and accommodating. We popped in for a quick cake and realised that, not only do they serve sit down meals, but among these were all-day breakfasts! We quickly decided to come again when we were feeling hungrier. I had the famous malteser cake. It is one of the few cakes I've had in London(/England!) which has the perfect balance of taste/moistness. It's not too dry and not *too* rich (though the slice they serve is more like a brick, so leftovers are definitely likely - but the staff are more than willing to wrap it up for you to take home) and the icing is lovely too. My friend had a gluten-free almond, courgette and stem ginger cake. This was, quite frankly, divine. I was informed that it was the customer 'favorite' - I can definitely see why. I imagine a lot of people would be put off by the 'gluten free'-ness of it and the fact that it sounds unusual (courgette?). But really, it is utterly delicious. You can't taste the courgette, it's not rich, the sweetness it balanced by the stem ginger (actual chunks!) and the almonds give it a lovely aftertaste and texture. I had a pot of loose leaf earl grey tea (there are several other loose leaf's, like chai, and a berry one) which was nice (and with free hot water top ups). My friend informs me that the coffee was pretty nice too! I'd definitely come back, and, indeed, am looking forward to my breakfast!
The portions were well sized. Menu is varied and super tasty with fresh, different and inspiring ingredients. Also prices are good value. Their juices are also interesting and tasty! Definitely a place to stop by for food on St John's Hill ! They have a couple of tables outside in the front but also have seats at the back of the store. They also sell lots of exciting ingredients and foodie things in the shop.