Last Updated on December 23, 2019
Fiume at Battersea Power Station – excellent restaurants in an exciting development.
I want to win the lottery…
If I do, to complement my private Caribbean island and my Madison Avenue penthouse, I’ll have a London base at Battersea Power Station in the Foster + Partners designed Battersea Roof Gardens complex. One with a view of the Power Station. Or maybe IN the Gilbert Scott Grade II* listed Power Station.
But, given that’s as unlikely to happen as the iconic Pink Floyd pig making its way over the Power Station, I’ll make do with exploring the restaurants, bars and entertainment on offer at what will become a neighbourhood destination for me once the Northern Line extension opens (it will have its own zone 1 station, just 2 stops from Kennington, towards the end of 2021 but for now it’s a short bus ride or about half an hour walk from Vauxhall).
Heading there to explore on a brilliant and sunny Winter’s morning I chanced a walk, which took me up past Oval and then along the river via Nine Elms and the American Embassy.
Just over an hour door to door, it was a good way to build up an appetite ahead of lunch at Fiume.
It was actually quite hard to pick which restaurant to visit when we were invited to visit the new development at Battersea. Wright Brothers are an old favourite of mine – I learnt how to shuck oysters at the Borough Market branch and it’s somewhere where I’ll happily sit enjoying a glass of fizz and a few Natives or Rocks. Brindisa is another regular haunt of mine, both the Borough Market outlet and Casa Brindisa in South Kensington.
The two restaurants sit alongside Fiume, where I headed, inspired by a visit a few months ago to Radici in Islington for an event to celebrate World Pasta Day hosted by the executive chef of both restaurants, Francesco Mazzei.
With an excellent location, looking out over the river and with a concise and appetising menu of contemporary renditions of Italian classics, Fiume was busy on a mid-week lunchtime and is apparently really popular at the weekends, when they offer a Sunday ‘Roast by the River’ . I imagine the terrace will be packed in summer too!
The restaurant has its own pizza oven but serves ‘Pinsa’ – classic Roman-style pizza which, according to their menu, is a lighter version of the contemporary pizza. Alongside, a tantalising selection of Cicchetti, Antipasti, Primi and Secondi.
We started with bread and olives – delicious light focaccia and Castelvetrano olives. My companion spotted the Vitello Tonnato, a classic Italian dish that sounds improbably on paper but, when well executed, is utterly delicious. It’s a Piedmontese dish of cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy tuna sauce. The Fiume version was the prettiest I’ve ever seen with a garnish of lightly pickled vegetables.
My choice was a plate of wintery sage and pumpkin crochette with chilli jam. The softest light and sweet pumpkin filling inside a crisp shell was perfectly complemented by crispy fried sage leaves and a piquant sauce.
I have to confess to some food-envy at my companion’s next plateful of burrata tortellini with hazelnuts, Grana Padano and shavings of black truffle. Fragrant and appetising, she explained that the burrata was still properly flavoured and creamy, just a little softer and melting, as the filling to the tortellini.
My own seafood mixed grill didn’t disappoint, although we were slightly confused by the waiter’s insistence that we didn’t need the roasted potatoes I was craving. We asked if the grill came with anything and were told that it included some green vegetables. It was actually beautifully set in a potato mash, so we really didn’t need more potatoes. But, of course, we did eat them (wouldn’t you have done so?). Each element of the grill was nicely cooked, though this dish is a kitchen challenge which requires careful timing to avoid overcooking any of the fish.
Dessert was really not necessary, but we indulged in a thankfully feather-light shared panettone tiramisu to go with some excellent Italian coffees.
Suitably full, we headed out into the now dark Circus West to explore some of the Winter Village, which was just opening.
Little light festoon huts run along the river banks packed with Christmas treats, arts and crafts, complemented the retail offering which includes fabulous flowers from Moyses Stephens and an excellent grocery store.
The Coaling Jetty has more, with a child-friendly ice rink and London’s only riverside curling lanes, but was closed for a private event when we visited.
Getting home, full of food and wine and with a naughty takeaway mulled wine from the Winter Village, I gave up all thoughts of walking and wandered down the jetty to catch an MBNA Thames Clipper to Embankment and the Northern Line.
That’s the main disadvantage of the Northern Line Extension – I won’t have an excuse to travel by river any more, though I’ll inevitably carry on, simply to take in the stunning views.
And, I’ll be back to explore more of the development at Battersea Power Station. There’s are plenty more great restaurants and bars including Cinnamon Kitchen and Mother Pizza. which we’ve already reviewed, Number 29 and Megan’s. There’s the Turbine Theatre, a Heritage Trail with daily guided walks and there’s an ongoing programme of commissioned art (right now, you can explore the work of British-born, New York-based Jesse Wine through a series of sculptures.
Getting to Battersea Power Station
Sloane Square 12 minute walk or a 5 minute
bus ride (routes 452 or 137)
Battersea Park 10 minute walk
Queenstown Road 15 minute walk
Victoria 20-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride
Vauxhall 2- minute walk or 5-minute bus ride
(routes 156, 344 or 436)
MBNA Thames Clipper
The new Battersea Power Station pier is now open at Circus West Village. The MBNA Thames Clipper River Bus service runs between 21 other piers from Putney to Woolwich. Hop on board and get to Embankment within 15 minutes, Blackfriars within 20 minutes and Canary Wharf within 40 minutes.
Battersea Power Station,
I was a guest of Battersea Power Station and Fiume Restaurant. All content is editorially given.
In addition to the restaurants and bars at Battersea Power Station, there are plenty of other places to eat in the area. We’ve enjoyed The Candlemaker, a quirky pub with a menu of excellent comfort food and Boqueria is an old favourite that we really need to check out again soon! But, that view at Battersea Power Station makes it very special indeed and we’re looking forward to going back soon!