Sign up to The American magazine's newsletters (below) to receive more regular news, articles and updates on America in the UK.
The Ram Quarter is the award winning conversion of Young’s Brewery which has been top of the hops since 1831! It’s just a short walk from Wandsworth Town station but be warned, Google maps will send you on a wild goose chase. Don’t be put off though. It’s well (Wands) worth a visit! Sorry. Please keep reading!
It’s the first venture by Assem Abdel Hady and Andres Bernal. What a debut! The high quality cuisine is a great match for this chic new neighbourhood but without the price tag. A splendid 7 course tasting menu costs a mere £45. This menu is the only offer at dinner along with a vegetarian option. Some may scoff at the lack of choice but it keeps the high standard consistent.
Head Chef Jose Fernandes and pastry chef Nico Fitzgerald use a combination of British produce, modern techniques and Asian influence with great skill. They serve food for foodies which the wonderful staff explained at length. Without a culinary education, some of it is a bit difficult to follow. My guest definitely needed me to translate. Thankfully, he wasn’t the least put off. On the contrary, after every course he exclaimed, “Oh that was my favourite!”
I started with a glass of Bellvale Pinot Noir ‘Quercus’, Australia (£12.50). Clean, cherry, spice, silky tannins and a long finish. I had another!
Sous vide octopus with potato fondant, celeriac purée and paprika was a great intro to Fernandes’ food. Salty, sweet, earthy and a hit of smoky sweet pepper. His great skill is packing flavour into every dish and finding balance with just a few ingredients. Nothing on the plate is superfluous.
Quail with onion purée and cured beetroot was my dish of the day. Both the breast, roasted on a Japanese robata grill, and confit leg were cooked beautifully. Again, earthy and sweet rounded out the dish but the intense quail jus just knocked me out. Delicious.
A floret of cauliflower, browned in butter with garlic, pine nuts and beetroot purée was a delight. Grilled wild seabass came with a seared broccoli stem, pureed broccoli top, pickled slivers of turnip, radicchio and shiso leaf. This hit every taste bud, combined every texture and still kept balance. A good trick.
Beef shortrib with root veg ratatouille, the best baby turnip ever and another killer jus was a flavour wallop. The rib was slow-cooked and pressed into a dense, tender beefy bite. Fab.
Pre dessert was candied delicata (sweet potato) squash with its seeds, shiso and a wonderfully zingy yuzu sorbet. A great combo and a nice use of the sweet vegetable.
Malt and miso soufflé with Sambrook’s Imperial Stout ice cream looked perfect but sadly turned to soup. I ate the cakey bits at the edge but found the miso overpowered the more delicate malt. The ice cream was divine.
All’s well that ends well, and a lavender madeleine left me wanting more!