London has always been a city that rewards the curious and adventurous folk who want to go out for lunch so I decided to try and seek out some new ‘lunch time goals’ places beyond my usual roster of West End favourites. One such project is London Stock, a restaurant blessed with a curious name that comes with an excellent pedigree in founders Assem Abdel Hady and Andres Bernal, both Cordon Bleu trained.
Hearing whispers that London Stock was serving some strikingly modernist cooking in the unlikely environs of Wandsworth, my partner and I set off across the river reassured by an excellent value set lunch menu and with plenty of time on our then furloughed hands. London Stock can be found in The Ram Quarter, a brand new residential and retail development on what was the Young’s Brewery with many contemporary apartments and a yoga studio already completed. We hope the smart young urbanites of South West London will frequently enjoy what turned out to be a fantastically innovative and playful meal.
For readers that visit London Stock though, and I urge you to do so, I would advise you to pay attention as while the menu itself is relatively straightforward, the dishes delivered are anything but. At lunch you can choose three plates for just £30, an absolute steal for cooking of this quality. Our charming Italian waiter advised us that sharing was a good idea to fully appreciate the chef’s talents so we were able to choose six dishes between us, another strategy I would highly recommend.
First to the table though was some delicious sourdough bread with a clever seaweed butter, a marker of the attention to detail and creativity to come. We began with a signature dish for London Stock – cryptically entitled ‘Tomato Pt 1 and 2’, a salad of flavourful heritage tomato and pressed watermelon dressed in a basil oil and a crisp slab of bread slathered with an anchovy and garlic preserve, bursting with deep umami. With its sharp and fresh notes the salad needed some fat to balance out our first course and this was ably delivered in a Venison Tartare, unctuous chopped meat and egg yolk, spiked with truffle, as delicately presented as it was moreish.
Further evidence of the restaurant’s generous spirit could be found in its use of prime ingredients in a set lunch. Monkfish, that Rolls-Royce of fish, was the basis of one of our mains, beautifully roasted with hispi cabbage and dressed with langoustine oil and black truffle made a second appearance, generously shaved on to the ‘Wild Mushrooms’ – in fact a smooth Orzotto with ceps bursting with earthy flavours.
Although not normally to be found ordering dessert at lunchtime, we were keen to see if the chef (previously of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal no less) was as creative with his patisserie. The Cherry Mille-Fuille was cleverly deconstructed but not annoyingly so – utilising all the traditional ingredients one would expect but in a light and elegant way. A quenelle of cherry sorbet, pleasingly sour, sat alongside an architectural creation of pastry shards and almond cream gorgeously showcased on chic earthen flatware. ‘Peach’ was similarly balanced, the roasted fruit served on a bed of tasted oats with a honey yoghurt.
With plenty of space to socially distance, the most fashionable sanitiser stations I’ve ever encountered on each table, London Stock is offering cooking of amazing quality.
To discover more, visit: londonstockrestaurant.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of London Stock.
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