Photography by Chris Osburn
Welcome to Dining Beyond Zone 1, a new series of restaurant reviews dedicated to seeking out quality local places to dine beyond the frenzy of Central London!
Harrison’s is an attractive modern European restaurant and bar with a contemporary brasserie feel. We swung by this week to give its Summer Dining Set Menu with Rick Stein Wines a go and were more than pleased with our experience, particularly by the extraordinarily fast and friendly service. As for the grub, well, the green and yellow courgette risotto with parmesan was delicious as was the strawberry and almond tart. Our wine (Rick Stein’s Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion, Hunter Valley, Australia 2007) was fine and went down easy with all our dishes. One minor complaint: the tasty carrot and coriander soup was so hot upon arrival that we had to wait (and wait) before it was cool enough to eat - kind of a bummer considering this was for the summer menu. Oh well, no biggie.
We liked the Harrison’s vibe too. Little old ladies, thirtysomething couples, cackling girls in their mid-twenties out for birthday festivities: all finding ample space to enjoy themselves without crowding out the others. Nice. The cocktail menu (most mixed drinks were around £7-8) impressed us as well, especially a properly made and sufficiently sharp Pisco sour. The Rolling Stone (Sagatibe, fresh blueberries, coconut rum, limes, crème de mure and vanilla sugar) was also a hit with our palette. Cheers. We wouldn’t necessarily advise making a mad dash from all points north for this Balham eatery, but if you’re local or find yourself in the area it’s a safe bet for a solid meal, refreshing cocktail and notable service.
Harrison’s is located at 15-19 Bedford Hill, SW12 9EX. The Harrison’s Summer Dining Set Menu with Rick Stein Wines cost £45 for two courses and a bottle of wine for two and £50 for three courses and a bottle of wine for two (or £14/£17 without the vino). Visit www.harrisonsbalham.co.uk for more information.