SW11 Battersea – Entrée Restaurant – Cheese & Wine Evening

Is is me or is it an excellent afternoon? It might be to do with the fact that it has been glorious for the past week. But then, come to think about it, I have been working so I haven’t been outside. Maybe it’s to do with the fact that I’ve been listening to Bruce Springsteen’s discography since I woke up this morning and that I am going to see him play in Hyde Park this summer. Listening to him in the coming months is merely an amuse bouche to the main course. *Boast, and a la carte puns over*.

There is one other thing which is making me smile today (I promised the boasting was over, but if I am honest it has only just begun) and that is cheese.

Cheese is one type of food I don’t buy often. Save for the occasional dried piece of cheddar which has ambled its way to the back of the refrigerator, you’ll not find any in my kitchen. I love it, and not buying it is a damage limitation exercise to prevent the bulge. Despite this, I love strong flavours and am not one to shy away from a stilton, St Agur, or any curded goody which is marbled blue.

I’m reluctant to tell you about Entrée restaurant. Nestled in on Battersea Rise, it’s a bit of a local secret. But if you promise not to tell, I’ll give you a few more details. Last night was their inaugural cheese and wine evening hosted by their new restaurant manager, Chloe Gounder-Forbes.

Cheese Board at Entree

A knife tinkling on a crystal glass signalled that the night was to begin. Sitting side by side in the Bentley Bar, each of us were brought five cheeses on a board with delicately sliced French bread. Chloe, who has been a judge at the British Cheese Awards, entertained us with a description of the first cheese – Sante Maure – a medium goat’s cheese which had been matured for a minimum of 10 days to give it the thin blue circumferential rind. The complimenting wine, Les Acrobats, opened up the creamy, firm yet well-roundedness with a pineapple kick.

We were given a chance to sample the cheese on its own, with the wine, then discuss our findings and thoughts. The evening was really relaxed and Chloe couldn’t have been more helpful – even to a complete Luddite like me (I love and know a little about cheese, but I’ve had little experience of pairing good cheese and wine together).

Chloe ran through each cheese and wine pairing one by one. The lingering mushroom hints of the English (Hampshire) Turnworth Soft, not dissimilar to a Camembert, were a favourite of mine. But the combination of Bleu d’Auvergne and The Opportunist – a 2010 Australian Shiraz – finished the evening off strongly. Late night snogs were definitely off the menu.

The intimate Bentley Bar

I believe Entrée will host more events like this in the future, but in the meantime they are open Monday to Sunday for dining, and or, just drinks. The speak-easy atmosphere and the Bring Your Own on a Monday night in the restaurant (£5 corkage) is going to see my return quicker than you can say fromage.

Entrée Restaurant
2 Battersea Rise
London
SW11 1ED
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My food week in pictures – Seafood and eat it, but watch for the whelks

My weekly post ‘my food week in pictures’ comes to you not on a Sunday night, as I normally would have planned, but on a Tuesday. Sundays are the best  time to cook up a decent carby dinner, and before you start to get that digestive-dozy feeling, I find that the 45 minutes after you’ve eaten is an excellent time to bosh out a blogpost. Unfortunately I decided to drown my sorrows after England’s defeat to Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday night, and as a result, Sunday was a write-off. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t eat. Frankly, I couldn’t even talk.

As a result, my photographic record of food and culinary adventures is pretty sparse – but the ones I do have, are as colourful as you could wish for, and more ecologically diverse than your average rock pool. Take a look:

Plateau Impérial at Le Bouchon Battersea

Plateau Impérial at Le Bouchon Battersea

Plateau Impérial at Le Bouchon Battersea

The Welshman and I seized a deal on the Telegraph Selected website for the Plateau Impérial at Le Bouchon on Battersea Rise. Full price, it is not something I would shell out (ho ho ho) for, but considering we paid a smidge under £20 a head, it definitely wasn’t bad value.

Included on our industrial platter were cockles, prawns, oysters, mussels, whole Devon crab and half a native lobster. They were served with either lemon, homemade aioli, or a red wine vinaigrette. All was fresh which made for a brilliantly messy lunch (I had bits of mollusc everywhere).  However, there was one item on the plate which I can barely bring myself to write…

Whelk.

There, said it.

Can anyone explain to me why in the devil someone would want to eat that? I am not a fussy eater. I am willing to try anything once, and generally, I’m offended by not a lot. The whe…gastropod which cannot be named is disgusting. Even having them on my plate made me feel like I was a guest on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Just, no.

Fingers crossed I will be as right as rain tomorrow, continuing to gorge into all the foodie delights south west London brings us, save for the whelks.