I love the soft launch concept and I'm glad so many new restaurant are catching on to this idea as it's a bit of a win-win situation for everyone i.e. the customer receives 50% of the bill whilst the restaurant have time to polish up their dishes and service before opening properly. Steve and I attended the soft launch of new, all-day Battersea restaurant Queenswood. With a menu appearing to mix traditional cooking with Asian influences I was intrigued to try it, plus there's also a focus on healthy, vegan and vegetarian dishes.
The restaurant definitely has the French bistro vibe with candle lit tables, unfussy and modern décor and a relaxed atmosphere. I was really looking forward to our meal.
The cocktail menu was pleasingly original with a lots of ingredients I had never heard of and lots of drinks I liked the sound of. We both went for gin cocktails, the SW Syndrome for Steve and the Elephant Fizz for myself. Both were fantastic, not too sweet and with a subtle punch.
We actually wanted to order the smoked duck breast but they'd run out so went for the quiona and beetroot instead. This was lovely, the toasted quiona mixed with the beetroot had a nice earthy flavour without being too overpowering. The orange added a nice touch of sweetness to the dish and the overall vibe was healthy but tasty.
The octopus and potato was nice. The octopus was cooked perfectly but the dish lacked seasoning and tasted a little bland. As you can see there wasn't much paprika and the potatoes definitely could have been improved with a little more spice.
The 1/4 chicken (leg and wing) was wonderfully spicy, cooked to perfection this was a generous portion of succulent meat. I really enjoyed this.
The chicken came with a choice of coconut rice or chips, we opted for the rice but in retrospect I would have preferred chips (which we also ordered). The coconut rice was a lot more subtle than what you would expect from a Thai restaurant but it was lightly and fluffy and cooked well.
The lamb chops were the highlight of the meal for me, cooked pink with an abundance of spice these were delicious. The dish came with a fragrant rice and overall this was highly enjoyable.
I wanted to try the purple sprouting broccoli but alas they were out so we opted for the root veg instead. This was a nice mix of carrot, parsnip and turnip, pretty simple but a nice vegetable dish.
Bog standard French fries, not much else to say to be honest.
There were a few issues with the chocolate soufflé, we hated it! This was meant to be a 'light and healthy' alternative (I found this out once I'd complained) but I found the dish stodgy with the overriding taste of egg, not very nice at all. I spoke to the manager about this and he was kind enough to take it off the bill. I'm not sure if our one was a dud or that they were meant to taste like this but the manager dealt with the situation very well so despite the bad finish to the food I left the restaurant feeling positive.
Queenswood is a nice place, the menu is interesting and I think it'll make a great neighbourhood brasserie. I don't think I'll visit again but this is the very reason why I love soft launches, being able to visit places that you might not bother with otherwise.