Queenswood

A new all-day neighbourhood restaurant and bar has arrived to Battersea Square from the team behind Soho’s Damson & Co. As per my usual dining antics, I wasn’t one to miss out on its soft launch and managed to secure a booking for my old school friend and I to catch-up over a Saturday night supper. I’d been tempted to the eatery based on Damson & Co.’s excellent reputation: a delicatessen, wine bar and best of all (for me!) a coffee shop, Damson & Co. opened in July 2013, serving a brunch-to-evening menu that boasts coffee from fantastic East London roasters Ozone, as well as English-produced teas, homemade cakes and a comprehensive spirits and beers menu.

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With space for seventy and a breakfast and brunch lineup on offer too, Queenswood positions itself as an all-day hangout, offering terrace dining and cocktails throughout the day. Promising a globally-influenced menu served up in an eclectic contemporary interior, it aims to push boundaries and bring something new to the table in a crowded corner of London’s culinary scene. And this is certainly did. It’s Head Chef, Aude Placktor, has moved here from Paris, having worked in all manner of high-end establishments including Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Given her wide-ranging influences, the menu spans the globe. And even luckier for me, there’s a strong focus on healthier food, with vegans and vegetarians particularly looked after with dishes like Mung bean soup with kale and coriander and Vegan green rice in chlorophyll herb stock, spring onion & seaweed, green tea matcha and smoked tofu. General Manager Sax Arshad speaks of the seasonally-changing menus inspired by the desire to have “freedom to pick and choose from all over the world”.

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With its incredible range of reasonably priced, well sourced, healthy yet vibrantly exciting dishes with influences taken from across the globe, I was spoilt for choice. I opted for a couple of starter dishes: the Seaweed Salad, and the Beetroot and Quinoa Salad. This was undoubtedly one of the best quinoa dishes I’ve ever tasted, having been disappointed by the quinoa at Leon and Vital Ingredient Salad Bar. My friend, meanwhile, although tempted by their Indian-inspired meat choices, chose their Sea Bass.

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Dishes here are wholesome and full of ingredients that are good for you and well-balanced.

For afters, the deserts were equally multi-cultural and very health-conscious. As I have both Kenyan and Indian roots, I was lured by either their African cacao and almond milk soufflé or Chai pannacota with macadamia milk and spiced roasted pistachio. We shared both and they proved that cacao and non-dairy milks are capable of producing real treats. Although Queenswood is not a “health food restaurant”, its dishes are triumphantly fresh, bright and zesty. Most importantly, the food is exciting and fun: surely nothing can be better for you than a combination like that?

Queenswood adds a touch of Soho to Battersea. Battersea Square doesn’t feel much like London at all, and that’s why the locals love it. Although surrounded by rather nice restaurants – including Source which serves elegant dishes built on excellent produce – few would inspire a journey of more than a short work. But with the arrival of Queenswood, this is likely to change. I’m very tempted to return for a breakfast or brunch here.

Queenswood, 15 Battersea Square, London, SW11 3RA

Website: http://www.queenswoodldn.com/

Rating: ****

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