Queenswood in Battersea
Queenswood is right in the centre of Battersea Square, a stone’s throw away from the Royal Academy of Dance and a relatively short bus ride away from Chelsea. The light and airy atmosphere of Queenswood resembles that of a sunny conservatory: a place that a family can lavish spending time together in.
The patio doors face a seating area which comes alive with people in the sunlight. Inside, with light oak accents, plants are dotted ornately decorating corners of the dining room area, with brass picture lamps adding an antique feel. With large groups of breakfast lovers quieting down and local professionals wrapping up business deals, the lunch menu brings about a more laid-back clientèle.
The restaurant excels in presentation, evident in the complementary colours on every plate. The free-flowing list of vegan and vegetarian dishes and beverages is pleasingly overwhelming. Veganism is embraced and taken in confident stride by all members of staff. The many options extend the fresh-eating theme: daily market fish, root vegetables, purple sprout broccoli for sides. Cold-pressed juices, matcha tea and coconut sugar further emphasise Queenswood’s willingness to use the best ingredients that nature has to offer in their cuisine. Chia, goji, açaí, maca and lucuma all make appearances on the selection; the five fathers of South American cuisine praised throughout history for their health benefits.
A chia and goji smoothie is placed on the table, and within moments slurped to a dribble that neither straw nor a tilt of a glass can salvage. At every glance of the menu, a new option seems tangible. The Mung Bean Soup, an Ayurvedic recipe, is selected as the starter, though many temptations – coconut chicken and beetroot quinoa – almost sidetrack this decision. Served steaming hot, the hardy nature of kale comes through in a series of crispy spoonfuls. Each flavour: spice, kale, coriander and tomato, is represented individually.
The Smoked Tofu Burger follows the examples set by other meat burgers in being hearty, handful and greasy from the relish of fried onions and earthy, flavoursome bean curd. The tofu itself is immersed in spices, giving it a taste comparable to falafel and is served with pak choi.
Of all of the dishes, it is the Seaweed Salad that most impresses; gone is the archaic belief that ordering a salad when dining out is an unacceptable choice. Kombu seaweed, thin linguine-like lengths of Wakama, and thick strands of greens are contrasted, but require a brief wrestle with the fork.
Dessert is lucuma and a chocolate fondant, with a miniature jar of caramel so appetising that it is tempting, even in the luxurious setting, to dip a finger into for a taste. The centre of the chocolate fondant is moist, showcasing walnuts – definitely a moment worth savouring. The staff recognise that this is an intimate experience to be shared between the diner and fondant only.
There is a homely vibe about Queenswood, one suited to both families and groups of friends. Its menu offers diners the opportunity to experience quality produce from the four corners of the world and is particularly pleasing in its ability to cater to all.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Ninette Osei Wilson
Photos: Ninette Osei Wilson
To make a booking at Queenswood, 15 Battersea Square, London SW11 3RA call 020 7228 8877 or visit here.