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An atmospheric Paris-style bistro on Battersea Rise.
Soif is about as jolie a neighbourhood joint as you’ll get outside of France. A long-standing Battersea Rise offshoot of Covent Garden’s Terroirs, the vibe is textbook bustling bistro, with a subtle whiff of mid-century Parisian cool: think artsy French posters and records strung about among the walls of emptied wine bottles and clattery Thonet-style seating.
The food was, on the whole, very good. First, the highs. A perfect charcuterie plate, with coarse slices of melty, fennel-flecked and clove-tinged finocchiona salami, followed by a bowl of Isle of Wight toms, doused with decent oil and dotted with smushed basil. The onglet in a steak frites was a whacking great slab of meat, perfect pink at its centre and served with a rustling pile of excellent fries. Finally, an ascetic dessert of dense, sweet-savoury whipped ricotta with berries and lemon curd utterly sang of summer. All startlingly simple stuff.
Elsewhere, a dish of zesty citrus-cured seabass would have benefited from more delicate slivers of fish, and an otherwise bright and seasonal dish of springy fettucine with courgettes, ricotta and lemon was so under-seasoned that I practically upended the salt pot over it. In short, there were more hits than misses, though even at its best, it’s not really the kind of food you’d travel miles for unless you’re a hardened Europhile. But as atmospheric local spots go, this is solid-gold stuff. Bully for you, Battersea.
27 Battersea Rise
|Transport:||Tube: Clapham Junction|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.|
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