Arcade, Battersea Power Station
Having launched on Tottenham Court Road, Arcade’s second food hall is a welcome addition to Battersea Power Station. Great for a gathering of friends both because it’s a lovely setting and the range on offer – no need to argue over a cuisine when there are so many in one room.
Flavours from all over the world are covered at Arcade. The beef suadero tacos at Mexa were a hit: confit short rib wrapped up with onion, coriander and a zingy salsa. Fries loaded with chicken shawarma, salad and spicy shatta from Shatta & Toum is a great sharer, as is the menu from Flat Bread by Thomas Straker (we enjoyed the option with burnt chilli mussel butter). Other vendors include Hero Indian Fast Food, Bao, Manna, Tipan Tapan, Siu Siu, Bebek! Bebek! and Phed Power (the neua nam tok ‘waterfall’ beef steak salad is great). With more options being introduced regularly, check the website before you go. arcadefoodhall.com
BAO Noodle Shop, Battersea Power Station
The classic London eatery began its life over 10 years ago and now has several venues. Its new home is inside the iconic Battersea Power Station and caters for Arcade Food Hall as well as a more extensive menu, including its noodle dishes. If you fancy a sing-song there’s even a karaoke room on hand.
Menu favourites the classic bao and fried chicken bao are available to order alongside Battersea exclusives such as the danzai pork and prawn noodles: the braised pork makes for a rich and indulgent broth. We enjoyed the crispy tripe with spring onion dip for its sweetness and texture, and the slow-cooked beef cheek and short rib noodle dish which was warming and full of umami flavours that bring a huge smile to your face. The Taiwanese fried chicken is a spicy delight, great for sharing, as are the boiled cull yaw dumplings: soft, tender and full of flavour. Be sure to finish with the fried Horlicks ice cream bao, you won’t regret it. baolondon.com
Noci, Battersea Power Station
Modern pasta restaurant Noci has opened its second site deep inside Battersea Power Station, joining the original Islington location. Despite the industrial surroundings of Battersea Power Station, once you’re inside Noci it manages to still feel warm and cosy – suitable for both special occasion dinners and quick lunches whilst shopping.
Kick a meal off with a selection of the snacks: salty house focaccia topped with red onions, or triangular parcels of mortadella, ricotta and fior de latte torte fritter that ooze with cheese. Crisp, buttery nduja arancini are accompanied by a cloud of rich pecorino and parmesan mousse. The pasta menu combines Noci classics with changing seasonal twists. The signature veal and pork Genovese ragu (pictured) remains the standout dish and is a must-order, with deep caramelised onion flavour, meat that falls apart and melting Monk’s Head cheese delivered with style. The brown butter cacio e pepe is chewy and indulgent, whilst the crab and ricotta raviolo is generously filled and the richness balanced by plenty of deeply toasted pine nuts. There’s a short dessert menu, but you’re here for the savoury. Go for three pastas between two and a couple of the fried snacks and you’re sure to leave happy. nocirestaurant.co.uk
Pear Tree Café, Battersea Park
This café run by Annabel Partridge and Will Burrett (previously of Petersham Nurseries) boasts picturesque views of Battersea Park boating lake.
Open every day from dawn to dusk, there’s an extensive brunch menu ranging from buttermilk pancakes to soft scrambled eggs on sourdough with maple and paprika bacon.
Come lunchtime, there are loaded burgers with chipotle jam, Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and roasted garlic aioli, washed down with mango lassis.
Social Pantry Café, Lavender Hill
With its zero-waste pesto and a breakfast bap of scrambled egg and Lincolnshire Poacher dressed with “rescued green tomato ketchup”, this hip Battersea brunch spot clearly operates sustainably. And with people, too. As a business, Social Pantry – which comprises multiple venues and a high-end event catering arm – provides support and training to ex-offenders, with around 10% of its employees being former prisoners. Imminently, Social Pantry will also launch a new staff canteen at HMP Feltham, a young offender institution, as a training environment for prisoners (similar in its aims to prison restaurant charity, The Clink). “Ex-offenders are often considered different and a risk to employ – an attitude that must be changed,” says Social Pantry founder Alex Head. “As a result of time in prison, ex-offenders are grateful for a second chance. They’re ambitious and determined.” socialpantry.co.uk
London Distillery Company, Broughton Street
This gin distillery is in a warehouse complex that also houses a gallery, a bar, a boxing gym, a food truck and table tennis tables… this is London! The star of the show, though, is undoubtedly the London Distillery Company. They produce Dodd’s Gin, an absolute stunner. Battersea has it’s own distillery and it is soaring.
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Serving advice: have a large measure of Dodd’s and a large measure of Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water over loads of ice in a wine glass with a sprig of rosemary. It will blow your mind. londondistillery.com
Roti King, Battersea Power Station
The new Roti King brings with it all of the famous Malaysian classics that have made the North London institution so successful. Fragrant nasi lemak, served with crisp fried chicken and a sambal stuffed full of chillies and shrimp paste, laksas with slippery noodles, nasi goreng and beef rendang made with the most incredible and fragrant curry pastes. The rotis are as good as ever, crisp and flaky; we had the fish kari served alongside. Deep-fried fish pieces in a rich but light curry, with crisp roti for mopping, were sensational.
Another favourite was char kuey teow – stir-fried flat rice noodles with prawns and chicken, deeply savoury from kecap manis and that smoky essence of great wok cooking. The kangkung belacan, or morning glory, cooked in shrimp paste and sambal was the perfect accompaniment – veg with a nice bite that’s wrapped in the funkiest savoury sauce. rotiking.com
Darby’s, Viaduct Gardens
Inspired in name and nature by chef Robin Gill’s jazz musician father, Earl ‘Darby’ Gill, this grand space houses a bakery (with bread, pastries, bagels and sarnies ready to take away), open kitchen (complete with open-fire stoves) and oyster bar. With a 1950s Manhattan feel, there are bottle-green tiles, fluted velvet banquettes and booths, herringbone floors, dark wooden tables and colonial-style chairs. Seating spills out onto the terrace, which looks up to the embassy.
The menu is split into snacks, oysters, starters, sharing mains, daily specials and sides. Things started off well with Dooncastle oysters (served with shallot vinegar, lemon, black pepper and Tabasco, depending on your penchant) from Galway Bay. They’re some of the best bivalves you’ll get in London (and we’ve done the rounds). Then, in quick succession, we made our way through “‘Gilda’ little perverts, witty and spicy” which we learn are Robin’s take on Basque skewers of pickled chillies, slivers of eel, juicy olives and chives.
Depending on your level of restraint during dinner, the dessert list tempts with sorbets drowned in East London Liquor Company vodka, homemade croissant and tonka bean ice cream sandos and Pump Street chocolate mousse that is as light as it is full of flavour. darbys-london.com
Fiume, Battersea Power Station
Translating as ‘river’, this contemporary Italian sits in front of a water feature that reflects the golden hue of the recently renovated chimneys towering above. This is Calabrian chef Francesco Mazzei’s third restaurant in partnership with D&D London. Inside, the restaurant’s décor reflects the menu – it’s smart but relaxed. There’s counter dining and high chairs by the bar for quick plates of cicchetti (fried calamari to crostini draped with mozzarella, anchovies and roasted peppers) and homemade breads from the wood-fired pizza oven.
The menu proper focusses on the recipes of southern Italy, or Mezzogiorno, jumping around the eight different regions. Think wobbly burrata and slow-cooked octopus to start, with classic mains such as aubergine parmigiana and seafood fregola, along with a handmade pasta menu. fiume-restaurant.co.uk
Humble Grape, Battersea Rise
Originally founded as a wine importer in 2009, Humble Grape built a strong following based on wine tasting events and private sales. It has now found a permanent home on Battersea Rise as South London’s newest wine bar and shop.
Unsurprisingly, the focus here is wine. As Humble Grape import their wines directly from the vineyards, they don’t have to pass on the hefty middlemen mark-up to their customers. This means that their fantastic selection of wines is available to take home or to drink in by the glass, carafe or bottle, at bargain prices. Food is divided between snacks such as salted cashews and smoked paprika peppers, whole baked camemberts, sourdough toasties and sharing platters.
There’s a great selection of wines from small, lesser-known vineyards around the world, although the big-hitting regions are still included. humblegrape.co.uk/battersea
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