Places To Eat In London: Table Cafe, Southwark
While outside of London I review a good amount of pubs and classic, British restaurants, because we’re so lucky to have a veritable kaleidoscope of world cuisines at our fingertips I tend to overlook decent, English fayre. So, when we were invited to review supper at The Table a few weeks ago, I was reminded how much I enjoy good, English ingredients used in an exciting way with a good, crisp glass of wine. If you work on Southbank, instead of getting on the tube after work in hunt for dinner or heading in the direction of Borough Market, head along to the table for dinner instead (they do jazz on Wednesdays!)
It was happy hour when we arrived, and from the happy hour cocktail menu to kick off our meal we both fancied a Dirty Dirty Lilt, which is just what it sounds like: a boozed up, homemade version of the grapefruit tinned classic which was fresh and feisty, perfect to unwind with at the end of the day.
We went for a snack and a starter to share. For the snack we got little oxtail nuggets; like, crisp, tender and exceedingly more-ish. These are perfect to get for the table, just keep in mind how many of you are eating; our only annoyance is a portion is three nuggets, meaning we had to fight over the last one! From the ‘proper starter’ section we ordered the chestnut mushrooms and sautéed leeks on toast with a poached egg. It was meaty, full of flavour with a simply beautiful yolk; the perfect thing to wet our appetites without getting too full before the main event (I hate this about huge on toast starters usually!)
After ordering some simply delicious wine once our cocktails were done (seriously, the wine was incredible – Table Cafe has one of the best by the glass wine lists I’ve had the pleasure to drink from in a while, they obviously take their wine every seriously!) we settled down to our mains. I really enjoyed my Skrei Cod (a type of Scandi cod really known for it’s fresh, clean flavour) with Braised Fennel, Butterbean Puree and Fried Chickpeas for it’s Mediterranean flavours without being quite classic. However, I think using Skrei cod was a bit of overkill; it really jacked up the price of the dish, while it’s USP was rather lost among the strong flavours it was paired with. My date ordered the Mutton with Green Sauce and Boulangere Potatoes. It was much tastier than it looked; the meat full of character, the potatoes rich and flavourful, and the sauce giving it a lift.
We both had our eye on the same dessert: a warm chocolate pudding, straight from the oven. While most people manage the nice gooey middle, one of my pet peeves is that they tend to get a really dry cvrust around the edge. However, these puddings were rich, soft and tender throughout, again with the lovely middle. Okay, so it may be a bit of an overdone, retro dessert right now, but who does not love chocolate? They’ve done this really, really well.
The Table Cafe is a really, really lovely place to go for dinner where you’re sure to get good food made with the best of British ingredients while supporting a local independent: no small thing in a city where good but same-y chains are taking over and where Eater London’s list of 2018 restaurant closures makes for really depressing reading. Do book at table at Table Cafe this week, and if you’re on the other side of London, find another small, independent restaurant to enjoy – you won’t miss what you’ve got until it is gone.