Brew raises the steaks
ADRIAN SEAL eats at Brew Putney, 162164 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1LY. Telephone: 020 8789 8287 Website: www.brew-cafe.com
PLENTY of fun and frolics are on offer at the recently opened Brew site on Putney’s Lower Richmond Road, along with seriously good Allpress coffee and tempting cakes. This is their fourth and largest outlet and it wants to be taken seriously as a destination for its brasserie style food.
While you can enjoy ‘breakfast in bed’ with all the trimmings including champagne and watch films in a deckchair or in bed on Wednesday nights on the large terrace, I was more interested in tasting the Antipodean influenced menu created by Jason Wells, who began his foodie career as a butcher in his native Australia and is inspired by his travels, with particular influence coming from Israel and New York.
I must admit on a bitterly cold evening the thought of sitting on the covered terrace rugged up in white sheepskin blankets and rugs with warm glows radiating from heaters did sound half tempting, but we decided to leave that for another night and ventured inside for dinner.
The main eating area is fresh, clean and airy in its open plan design with lime green banquette seating along one side blending in well with white chairs and light pine topped tables. There is a nod to the nearby River Thames with rowing oars on one wall and opposite is a glass fronted butcher’s cool room complete with dry aging fridge, where your steak is cut to size and then cooked to order, a nice little bit of theatre.
The menu has some interesting attractions and we decided to start by sharing the hellfire pizza (£7.50). The base was almost wafer thin and with a tasty firey topping of chorizo, king prawn, hot guindilla, pepper, chilli butter, lemon and rocket it delivered plenty of kick and was a good tasty way to start off the evening.
A glass of Waimea Pinot Noir (£5.50) from the Nelson region of New Zealand washed down well as we prepared ourselves for a meat feast main course.
Fiona went for the Welsh lamb skewers marinated in yoghurt, lavender and cumin (£14.50) and declared the cubes of meat delicious and this coming from a Kiwi, the home of lamb.
I was looking forward to my 42 day dry aged black Angus sirloin steak (£26 for 300g) and when it arrived it certainly did not disappoint and in fact blew me away in terms of its big flavour and taste. It was cooked perfectly medium rare and each delightful mouthful of the well- seasoned juicy meat simply melted in the mouth. I don’t usually get carried away about a piece of meat but this was damn good, one of the best steaks I have tasted for a long time and a good enough reason alone to return to Brew. Each dish came with a choice of two sides included in the price, and we both enjoyed well delivered thin fries and a good salad of dressed leaves. As recommended, by the pleasant and well informed staff, a glass of Two Hands ‘the monster’ Aussie Shiraz was a perfect choice to accompany the bold meat flavours.
After taking a pause, I finished off with a decent pud of rich valrhona chocolate hot shot with homemade ice cream in a sugar cone (£4.50). I tried to tempt Fiona to try the Nutella dessert pizza but she decided to play safe and finished off with a very acceptable Flat White, in a fitting tribute to Brew’s origins.
There is a lot going on at Brew in terms of what it delivers and hopefully it will not get side-tracked from its main focus – but already the concept seems to have captured the hearts of the locals as on the wintry Thursday night I visited business was brisk and the atmosphere congenial.
Brew’s other south west branches are at Clapham, Battersea and Wimbledon.
n BREAKFAST IN BED: Wrap up warm and enjoy some Antipodean inspired tastes at Brew Putney