Thanks to a partnership with leading wine importer, Les Caves de Pyrène, the Terroirs group has pioneered the natural wine movement in London. Soif, the third of its four venues (so far), has the perfectly pitched, quirkily cool ambience of a British take on the ideal Parisian bistro. Design may seem casual, yet not a poster, a blackboard or napkin is out of place. Implausibly delicate C&S glassware provides the perfect vehicle for the terrific collection of intriguing wines, a dozen or so served by the glass. Most hail from France and southern Europe, but there’s an honourable look-in from the New World. Vintage ciders and beers featuring the cult Kernel brewery, digestifs and intriguing stickies (tomato liqueur, anyone?) round out the list. Food is well sourced, deftly cooked in an open-view kitchen and served in generous measure: velvety duck rillettes with cracking cornichons was a starter sufficient for two; copiously dressed tomato salad dotted with goat’s cheese and excellent pickled walnuts came as a huge plateful; and a dish of smoky and tender pork loin with creamy champ and perky girolles left few gaps to fill. Also gratifying was a dense, dark and delightfully uncloying chocolate mousse. With the easy option of sipping and nibbling in the bar area, you don’t need much excuse to drop by, though it’s wise to book for the rear dining room.
27 Battersea Rise
|Opening hours:||Open noon-10.30pm daily. Lunch served noon-3pm Tue-Sat. Dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Clapham Junction rail|
|Price:||Main courses £15-£18. Set lunch £10 1 course (incl glass of wine and coffee). House wine £19 bottle, £4.50 glass. Meal for two with wine and service: around £90.|
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