Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Lodge - Balham

The Lodge is Balham’s newest breakfast destination. In fact its Balham’s newest restaurant, it only opened on Friday! The 6 month residency on recently pedestrianised Hildreth Street is the brainchild of London’s King of the ‘pop-up’ – Jimmy Garcia.
The concept is a taste of the Alpine – specialising in fondues and game in the evenings and ‘slow down’ roasts on Sunday afternoons. My main interest is what is on offer on Saturday and Sunday mornings: a small but well thought out brunch menu.
The wood panelled walls and skiing artefacts dotted around give the small dining room a warm and welcoming feeling. As we move into the winter months it will make a great place to escape the cold weather.

The service from Jimmy and his team is excellent. I started with a well-made latte and then had a decision to make: The Full English breakfast or the Huntsman breakfast? I plumped for the Huntsman, which differs from the more traditional option by trading a pork sausage for a couple of wild boar sausages, a hen’s egg for a duck egg and regular fried mushrooms or wild mushrooms. They are both served with bacon, black pudding, tomatoes and toast.

I think I made the right choice if only for the wild boar sausages. They were probably the best sausages I have ever had! The intense, rich meaty flavour is fantastic, how will I ever go back to regular pork sausages ever again!

High quality ingredients are part of the philosophy here; the bacon was extreme good and cooked perfectly with crispy fat without being overdone. The big yellow yolk of the Clarence court duck egg showed how fresh it was and the black pudding was delicious also. A big hunk of toasted bread is also worth a mention, it was excellent.

The mushrooms were a mix of chopped field mushrooms, along with Oyster and Enoki (the long thin stemmed ones with tiny caps) varieties. For me the delicate flavours of the Oyster and Enoki mushrooms were a bit misplaced on this meaty plate, a Portobello or perhaps the more powerful flavour of Shitake may have been a better match.

The verdict
Get down to Balham are sample the Huntsman brekkie while you can, it won’t be here forever!


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