Thursday, 12 January 2012

Balham dinner date...

So, a little punchier than our usual reviews... this one comes curtesy of the ever cynical Frank, of Dead in Balham fame, who took his long suffering girlfriend (SallyServesItUp) for dinner at Lamberts in Balham.

Here's what he has to say about it!

"On learning I live in Balham, everyone – taxi drivers, colleagues, the homeless – says that it’s a dump. Or they put on a cod American accent and talk about the “gateway to the south” (a completely non-hilarious radio sketch performed by Peter Sellers). But they don’t know, do they. They don’t know about Balham’s proximity to Nappy Valley, and its wide open tracts of common land, and its excellent transport links and its fine period housing stock. And – because of all of that – its selection of fine dining establishments, as demanded by the sharp-elbowed hipsters of deepest south London.

There’s Harrisons, and Dish Dash, Gazette and a host of excellent curry houses. And there’s McDonalds and a host of dirty chicken shops for those bereft of tastebuds. But the jewel in Balham’s firmament, the brightest star on the Northern Line and the best place to take a date in the SW12/17 postcodes is clearly Lamberts. A restaurant which is a fixture on the scene amongst local gastronauts, and is guaranteed to be busy – even to the extent of a second evening service – any time you fancy popping along. Lamberts is handily placed for the tube (on the off chance you want to escape Balham’s delightful environs), so there’s really no excuse. Sal and I popped along just before Christmas for a bit of a seasonal jolly. I had an expertly-mixed and suitably-dry gin martini (the ultimate test of any barman), and moved swiftly through the menu, sampling an excellent crab starter (black pudding for me), ox cheek and pork belly respectively, rounding off with creme brulee. Why not? We waddled home, sweating.

The dining room is big and bustling, but carefully lit to ensure success of all but the most furtive of dates; ask for a corner table to ensure complete anonymity. And at £30 for a three course dinner it’s extremely good value, especially as all the top-notch grub is seasonal, locally-sourced (where possible) and the sort of heritage variant, traditionally reared produce that the upwardly-mobile of Balham demand (to confirm, that’s a father in the City, a mother who plays at PR and a Polish nanny looking after two blonde under-fives).

If you’re in the area – or even if you live the other side of London - and want Chez Bruce style food and atmosphere – without the price tag – then this is the place to be."

Thanks Frank!

p.s. I'm presuming that you're downwardly-mobile?!?

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