Sunday 2 February 2014

Source, Battersea

Last week for a quick midweek lunch with my grandfather I tried Source in Battersea. Newly opened, this independent restaurant is what used to be Ransome's Dock, but is now owned by a new couple, again a husband and wife team.

The space has been completely revamped and I absolutely love what they've done with it. Mix-match chairs at every table, exposed brick, wood and metal pipes, funky lights and pretty mosaics; it's industrial, but still sophisticated and comfy.

Source prides itself on being "seasonal, simple and social" and its menu absolutely proves that. No fancy explanations and words that you have to get the waiter to translate. Every dish is listed with three or four ingredients, and that's exactly what you get. Personally, I don't Iike my food to be mucked about with and also, trying eat healthily, it's always a nightmare when a dish turns up smothered in a sauce that wasn't previously mentioned. There's none of that here though, which made me very happy indeed. The menu changes regularly and at lunchtime there's a lovely mix of bigger plates (pastas, meats, fish dishes) and smaller snacks, including a scrummy sounding pulled pork bun.

To start, I had a salad, "Celeriac, rocket, anchovies, hazelnuts". When it turned up it seemed to have fennel instead of rocket, but i was pleased as not only do I prefer it but the combination was delicious. Really simple in a great tasting light dressing, but packed full of flavour with the fresh veg, salty fish and sweet nuts. My grandfather had the crab toast which he gobbled very happily.

For a main course, I went for "silver mullet, polenta, broccoli" and he had "baked eggs, feta, tomatoes, red peppers". My fish was perfectly cooked, with soft meat and a crispy skin. The polenta was lovely and creamy and I would have eaten the HUGE cloves of garlic that were also on my plate but I was heading off to a massage that afternoon and didn't think the therapist would appreciate it much!

Although not exactly what my granddad was expecting, the egg dish was super. Served in an iron skillet, the tomatoes and red peppers were cooked down to make a rich base, with the feta crumbled over and two eggs cracked on the top. It was served with crusty sourdough bread, which all defeated him a little (lucky for me though, as I got to polish it off!).

We probably could have stopped there, but as my granddad put it, there's no harm in looking at the dessert menu... For a little palette cleanser, we both chose the blood orange sorbet, which was served with a sprinkling of caramelised peel. The sorbet itself was light and fresh, which was a lovely contrast to the peel that had a bold, bitter taste.

For me, lunch was an absolute success. I love to cook as well as eat out, and Source really inspired me to try out some of these new combinations at home. You could really taste the care that had been taken with the dishes, not only with the preparation but with sourcing the freshest and best ingredients. There was also an extensive wine and cocktail list which, although we didn't sample, looked pretty impressive. The staff were so kind, constantly checking that we had all we needed, and there was no problem at all when we wanted certain things altered, like a different sauce for the crab or having the fried eggs cooked through. There were couples dining, friends, business partners, and (with us!) family too. If it gets a thumbs up from both a 22 and an 89 year old, it's gotta be good. I wish them the best of luck in their opening year!

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