SW18 – Wandsworth – Brady’s Review

I can never quite understand why some people don’t like fish. Fish has always been a very hefty part of my diet. I’m the kind of person who orders a fish starter and main, sometimes much to the bemusement of the waiter. My prerogative is if you like it, see fish and eat it.

OK, I’m done with the dad jokes.

For now.

I was therefore delighted when Brady’s invited me to their restaurant which is by the river in Wandsworth – near The Ship for those of you who, like me, tend to navigate London by pubs. Wandsworth residents may know Brady’s in its former incarnation on Old York Road. Now they have a much bigger establishment, complete with new bar and Thames-side views.

What can I say, it was really bloody good.

To start with I ordered the beetroot-cured salmon pictured below which, as you can see, is an astonishing shade of pink (#nofilter). Delicate and almost creamy it was presented in thin slivers; there’s nothing which puts me off smoked or cured salmon more than when it is thickly cut and has stringy bits; it reminds me of this. The door-stop bread it was served with would have been lovely slightly warmed to let the butter seep in.

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The Welshman made an immaculate selection in his starter; fried whitebait. My picture doesn’t do them justice but when you bit into them they were so fat and juicy that I dribbled once, totally fresh and with a supreme batter crunch.

**Rapturous applause**

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As side note, when we first arrived we were presented with a catch of the day list. Again, emphasis is clearly on freshness at Brady’s.

The Welshman never strays to far off the path when he chooses, you’ll therefore be unsurprised to learn that he chose fish, chips and mushy peas as his main but by Jove! he chose right. Flaky and fragile pieces of fresh haddock were encased in a light and crispy batter which was nicely seasoned. The chips which accompanied it didn’t really look that much to be honest with you; they had that ‘cooled and refried’ vibe going on about them, if you know what I mean. The taste however did give away the fact that they were also fresher than Will Smith. They were born and raised to go with that fish. Only complaint is the mushy peas were rather sweet.

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I ordered whole grilled sea bream. Crispy, charred, scored skin and well-cooked (not in the sense it was over cooked) is my equivalent of an aphrodisiac. I highly recommend it.

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I never eat pudding going out, but our host Amelia Brady twisted our arms to share a homemade apple crumble. The apples had a tad too much sugar in there for me, but bear in mind I don’t have a sweet tooth in the slightest. And because I’m also rather sour.

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You can tell the owners of Brady’s know their drinks too; a simple but nicely chosen wine list and a really rather decent selection of beers, ales and spirits. I know they would like more people to enjoy their bar just as a bar without ordering food (but definitely order some anyway) and with a decent selection of drinks as they have, I see no reason why not to. Both the meals and drinks are ridiculously reasonable considering the quality of everything.

They also do takeaway. You Wandsworthians are spoiled with this one.

Brady’s Restaurant
39 Jews Row,
London
SW18 1TB
020 8877 9599
 

I was invited as a guest of Brady’s Restaurant.

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SW18 – Wandsworth – Queen Adelaide

I love old fashioned, scruffy pubs. They can have dirt and grime on the chairs, as many tatty beer mats and wine stains on the tables as their surface area permits, and at least one corner which is occupied by a (working) neon fruit machine. I’ll still love it. There was a phase in the early 90s where these bastions of culture were turned into ‘gastropubs’. Their original décor was stripped out, floorboards and walls were painted the most yawn-ful shade of magnolia, and any sort of gamification was replaced by a touch-screen version of Deal or No Deal.

Thankfully gastropubs have moved on considerably since then and the Queen Adelaide is refreshing, even in 2014. It’s cosy as you walk in – comfy chairs, roaring fires, scatter cushions and tartan upholstery. It’s not twee in the slightest before you jump to conclusions. The menu is clean and interesting. It doesn’t raise too many surprises in terms of the variation of dishes it serves – in the sense that you could go elsewhere for something similar, but the chef makes an effort to veer from sticking to the tried-and-tested mainstream versions of these dishes.

To start, I enjoyed a broad bean and goat’s curd, truffle on sourdough toast. The green in my photograph (although slightly grainy, apologies) shows – for those of you who cook your veg al dente – that they were tender and exactly cooked. Only aspect of note was that broad beans are in themselves quite floury and goats’ curd is creamy – the two need to be evened out, in my opinion, with something more acerbic.

Starter of broad beans, goats curd, watercress and truffle

Starter of broad beans, goats curd, watercress and truffle

My guest, The Welshman, enjoyed a platter of Suffolk fennel salami, chorizo, olives and sourdough toast.  Simple. Did. The. Job.

Charcuterie starter

Charcuterie starter

I ordered a main of steamed mussels, coconut, lemon grass and chilli broth. The mussels were steamed for a matter of seconds, all opened, it was garnished with aesthetically-pleasing micro herbs – yes! I wish the sauce who have lived up to to great quality ingredients. Woah, too salty. A little taste by the chef would have gone a long way. I pointed this out to our waiter, so I do hope the message was relayed.

Mussels, coconut, chilli and lemongrass

Mussels, coconut, chilli and lemongrass

Our  other main was a home made chicken Kiev with celeriac and truffle mash, summer greens and smoked bacon.  Ah, the pain of cooking chicken breast; ever so tasty but the meat was slightly dry.

Homemade chicken kiev

Homemade chicken kiev

The Queen Adelaide is a gorgeous-looking pub, between Wandsworth and Putney, selecting well-known dishes which are thought out and are that one step above what you might expect from your average Young’s pub. Although I haven’t sampled their Sunday dinner, if you’re part of the Sunday Lunch crew, it might be worth a visit –  it really is a nice place. There’s plenty of space and in the summer, there’s a large conservatory space and outdoor eating area. You know, I so wish my sauce hadn’t been so salty – I might have sung The Queen’s praises some more – but you know what – I’d like to go back. That says enough, right?