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Birdhouse After Dark

Restaurants, Cuban Battersea
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

A Cuban-focused after-hours take on this fixture of Battersea's coffee-shop scene.

Now that the US has allowed a Cuban embassy on its soil for the first time since 1961, it’s only right that this Cuban-owned Battersea stalwart is nailing its colours to the mast. Coffee and sandwich bar by day, Birdhouse turns on its Cuban heel at 6pm (Wed-Sat only) to become a low-key Cuban tapas bar. If you’re looking for live music, dancing and mojitos lined up on the bar, look elsewhere; the focus here is on exquisite little nibbles.

Start with chicharrones, addictive pork crackling freshly deep-fried and eaten with a squeeze of lime. Next, try the malanga con chorizo, a yam-like root vegetable (also known as eddo) puréed into a creamy consistency, then spiked with spicy red sausage. Other highlights included breaded and deep-fried potato balls, their centres filled with slow-cooked beef, the dish accompanied by a good romesco sauce and alioli.

The inevitable mojito is a well-made version of the mint, lime and rum sharpener, but do consider other cocktails too, such as the rum sour: with its egg-white froth and Angostura bitters kick, it was even more refreshing than Cuba’s better-known signature drink. Three dishes each make a substantial meal; the desserts are beautiful, and include a plate of strawberry and chocolate sorbets plus dollops of white-chocolate mousse.

By: Guy Dimond



Address: 123 St John's Hill

SW11 1SZ
Transport: Clapham Junction Overground and rail.
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £55.
Opening hours: Open 6pm-10pm Wed-Sat.
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