There’s something mysteriously alluring about places that open quietly, as if they were hiding something exciting they don’t want us to know about just yet. London Stock is one of the first restaurants in the new and shiny Ram Quarter, the latest residential and retail development combining contemporary living with iconic heritage built on the site where the Young’s Brewery used to be.
What makes London Stock unique is that it specialises in a menu of British fine-dining dishes with Asian culinary techniques. The highlight is a 7-course tasting menu which is just £45 based around seasonal ingredients along with other menus including a weekend roast.
Our sommelier recommends a Tokaji dry Harslevelu from Hungary, which goes down well with the in-house baked bread and seaweed butter, offering a harmonious balance of spreadable goodness and crunch.
The grilled octopus offered the first rocketing high served atop nutty barley, Jerusalem artichoke fondant and celeriac puree. It was so balanced with the light paprika dust giving it a refreshing punch.
The service is slick and there’s just enough time for me to soak up the industrial atmosphere between courses – the brick walls are dimly lit by circular lampshades and wooden tables are spread widely across the floor, ensuring you’re social distancing, creating a particularly intimate vibe.
“We’re really trying to push people out of their comfort zones and show them that the dishes they would usually never order in a restaurant can be actually done so well,” our waiter explains when putting a grilled cauliflower in front of us. While the chefs aim to showcase the best of British produce, hints of Asian flavours and culinary techniques are visible throughout, adding an element of surprise to each dish.
The best course of the evening is a grilled seabass on a bed of steamed broccoli, broccoli puree, pickled turnips and a dried shiso leaf which is a palette cleanser, that hint of Asia we were promised in each course.
Coming very close behind is the beef short rib with ratatouille, jus and baby turnips. We’re told that to obtain this unique texture and flavour, the meat must undergo a 72-hour process of which 24 hours are for marinating and 48 hours are for slow cooking, creating ultimate tenderness.
The puddings are equally enticing, especially a miso soufflé topped with malt ice-cream that pays homage to the restaurant’s historic beer brewery location. The soufflé is light and miso provides such a sweet umami like moreish taste.
An eclectic cocktail list incorporates some interesting twists on classics including a Sea Buckthorne Bellini and a Red Pepper Gimlet. Consider sitting by the tiled floor-to-ceiling bar when sipping on your potion from where you can people watch before and after dinner.
It’s only when I’m about to leave that I understand why the restaurant wishes to stay low-key. For a place that’s striving to make fine dining more accessible, it’s normal to not want crowds to ruin that unpretentious neighbourhood vibe. And even though I’m certain that Londoners will soon flock to Wandsworth to taste the new kid on the block, I too want to enjoy my little gem in privacy for as long as I can.
To book a table and find out more, visit www.londonstockrestaurant.co.uk
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