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15-19 Bedford Hill
London SW12
Tel 020 8675 6900

In South London we have an abundance of great curry houses, but should you fancy a change you will find Harrisons’ modern European restaurant. Situated at the Balham High Road end of Bedford Hill, it has a retro 1970’s décor with warm oranges and muted browns. Large lampshades hang from the ceiling giving a soft glow to the room. Background music was far from intrusive and the happy hum coming from the bar contributed to a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

Declining the offer of a cocktail, of which there was many a tempting choice, we perused the menu. As one would expect with Rick Stein as a backer there were many fishy treats including salt-cod croquettes. However, we began with a cream of mushroom soup and a goat’s curd served on toast. The soup was earthy and velvety with a lovely savoury end note. Whilst the goat’s curd, superbly accompanied by the shallot jam was simple but very effective. To drink we enjoyed a South African unoaked Chardonnay Diethersdal Durbanville as recommended and seemed a relative snip at £23.50 a bottle. The service was excellent and friendly - our waitress being from New York - Americans knowing how to provide good service and it showed.

To follow we tried a roast Cornish cod, mash, mussels and green sauce. The fish flaked beautifully and the mussels made a perfect accompliment. A side order of tomato and shallot salad added a nice foil to the richness on the palate. A slow roast belly of pork with carrot and swede puree was well presented. The pork being sweet and bursting with flavour, although the crackling whilst tasty, was slightly on the chewy side. A good selection of vegetables came cooked to perfection with just enough gravy to ensure the dish wasn’t dry. Meanwhile the cheeseburger, house chutney and fries noticed on another table looked to be perfect for keeping hungry teenagers happy.

It was with further anticipation that we perused the puddings and settled on a rhubarb and almond tart with honey anglaise and an iced mango parfait served with coconut and lime compote. Unfortunately, the mango parfait has plainly proved too popular so a second choice was required. The steamed chocolate pudding came highly recommended by the waiter so I decided to go for it! It was a magnificent concoction, consisting of a light, very chocolaty sponge served with ice cream or clotted cream. Clotted cream would probably have proved a step too far down the slippery slope of a calorific overload so I settled for the ice cream option - a truly wonderful pudding. Meanwhile the rhubarb and almond tart whilst sweet had a hint of sharpness from the rhubarb that left one with the feeling that this was the perfect dish to finish.

Evie Summers. May 2009.

A three course meal with wine comes to around £85.00 for two.
Set menus - £14.00 for two courses & £17.00 for three.

UK Restaurant Reviews – The Best Of The Dine Online Restaurant Reviews 2001 - 2010

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