Small but neatly designed and perched perfectly on Eel Brook Common in southwest London, the Eelbrook is an ideal stop for affordable-good-food fanatics.
Visiting on a balmy autumn evening, the converted groundskeeper’s shed of Eelbrook, white-washed and with floor to ceiling glass doors, feels charming and inviting: a theme consistent throughout the restaurant.
The design is the work of Hakkasan Las Vegas designer Haruo Morishima and includes a heated terrace that spills out on to the common, providing a year-round al fresco dining option.
On arrival, assisted by two delicious elderflower Champagne cocktails, as well as by a waiter full of insightful recommendations, we were given plenty of time to browse Eelbrook’s hearty and diverse menu, kicking off with two of its small plates.
First, a wonderfully fresh grilled baby squid with coriander, followed swiftly on by a plate of delicately spiced lamb croquettes with ‘burnt’ shallot sauce.
Our appetites truly whetted, we moved on to the recommended lightly smoked Lincolnshire eel on soft fluffy potato pancakes (see photo) with just a touch of horseradish sauce, and the black fig with gorgonzola and cobnuts in merlot vinaigrette. A promising start paired with a smooth glass of Terre di Vulcano Falanghina Benevento.
For our main course we also opted for sharing dishes: the wonderfully tender Elwy Valley lamb, and the whole roast partridge.
The food is well cooked, the meat tender and the presentation spot on. Though flavours don’t feel new or exotic, everything is prepared perfectly. The quality of ingredients is high and the menu impeccably thought out. Needless to say, the huge Valrhona chocolate mousse – we shared just the one this time – was the perfect end to a very pleasant evening.
If you’re looking for a risk-taking culinary adventure, Eelbrook may not be what you’re after, but if it’s reliable seasonal staples, incredibly good value for money and friendly service you desire, then whether on a blustery evening or a summer’s day on the patio, Eelbrook will make you feel right at home.
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