If you Google underrated restaurants, Streatham’s Nineteen really ought to come up top. Of course, it doesn’t. That’s the problem. We hadn’t even heard of it until a week ago.
On a bit of a well-why-shouldn’t-we-have-a-three-course-lunch-and-quite-a-lot-of-wine-on-a-tuesday whim, we wrote off the afternoon in the name of exploration and left amazed (and slightly tipsy) at the quality of food being served at what would surely be a very well known restaurant were it in W1.
Our feast kicked off with seared scallops dusted with white pepper and served with curried mango – a dish as eclectic as would be expected of a head chef who’s come to London from Mexico via The Netherlands. Next up is minted lamb with a medley of broad beans and white asparagus. It’s so good we overlook the imported asparagus at a time when it really should be British and lick the plate clean.
Onto dessert and our expectations are fairly high. A chocolate fondant exceeds them. It’s just the right amount of gooey. Not sponge. Not soup. Just gooey. It’s studded with roasted pecans and even comes on a plate which has the restaurant’s name (in full letters, not digits) written on it in chocolate. We knew there and then that we’ll be back. With 2 courses for £14 and 3 for £17, why not?
Honourable mention also goes to the wine we had with our dessert – a recommended number from a local importer Hix & Buck which is 99% sparkling chardonnay but 1% XO cognac. Yep. It was that kind of a lunch.