Bottomless Lunch in Battersea at The Lavender:
On our way to review The Lavender Bottomless Lunch we knew we were heading in the right direction for a good time when several people passed us carrying balloons from the famous party shop at Clapham Junction…
On arrival, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who explained that they will shortly be combining dishes from the Prix Fixe menu that we were meant to be reviewing with their A la Carte and so we could choose from both. The bottomless drink options were prosecco and red or white house wine so we kicked off with a glass of fizz and the House Red, a Primitivo di Manduria. Unfortunately, the first glass served had just been in an open bottle too long and had to be sent back but a newly-opened bottle put that right and was smooth and strong with good fruit and a hearty taste.
We immediately were drawn to the starter of burrata cheese with artichokes and the melanzane parmigiana. These got Veggie Man’s vote, so I asked our attentive host for his recommendations and was persuaded to have the octopus and sweet potato crumb starter. I wouldn’t normally go for this as I worry it may be too chewy but he assured us it wouldn’t be. He was right and the knife just glided through it. The sweet potato had a good texture and flavours of rosemary and basil.
The burrata was amazing – like mozzarella but more ‘sensual’, with a delicious combination of creamy cheese and slightly sharp artichoke, combined with onion and a vinegary dressing which set off the creaminess of the burrata perfectly. The olive and onion breads and grissini were an ideal accompaniment.
On to the main course, and the melanzane parmigiana was a rich and warming treat served straight from the oven. I had opted for the fillet of steak with Gorgonzola sauce with roasted baby onions, carrots and asparagus. I realised after ordering that I wasn’t asked how I wanted my steak cooked but this was actually a good sign as the chef clearly knew exactly how it should be cooked – a slightly browned and crispy shell and pink in the middle. Again the knife (not a steak knife) slid straight through.
We didn’t really need anything else but were persuaded to look at the dessert menu and I’m glad we did. Veggie Man had a Neapolitan chocolate and nut cake served with a swirl of cream and dusted with chocolate. He’s normally a bit sniffy about desserts but pronounced that “this is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had”. My crème brûlée also hit the spot.
Our long and relaxed lunch was rounded off by authentic Italian cappuccinos and complimentary liqueurs.
The Lavender offers authentic and expertly cooked Italian dishes in a relaxed environment. The other diners were all Italian (which must be a good sign) and it was lovely to see a family with children enjoying a meal together. And I still can’t get over how good the steak was…..
171 Lavender Hill,
+44 (0)20 7978 5242
+44 (0) 79 1585 8640
Tue-Fri: 17:00 – 00:30
Sat-Sun: 12:00 – 00:30