When I first booked Soif last week I didn’t realise it was a sister of Terroirs in Covent Garden, and Brawn on Columbia Road. My thoughts were that Soif is a relatively new opening which has been a top South West pick for many food lovers and reviewers alike. Without having been to the other two I cannot possibly compare and contrast, however I can whole heartily say that Soif is outstanding in service, food and atmosphere.
The décor is rustic; small wooden tables across two levels and blackboard walls covered with chalk. The food is seasonal French with British influence, complimented by a large selection of natural wines stored in a temperature controlled room downstairs. I asked… it is 15C.
|Picture from The Independant|
The one page menu is split into sections. Small bites such as olives and radishes are followed by a whole Charcuterie section (cooking devoted to prepared meat products). Then the small plates which double as starters or sharers, and the mains such as ‘Roast Cod, saffron, mussels, cucumber & dill (£17)’, or ‘Braised Rabbit, girolles, Alsace bacon, baby onions & Spätzle (£17.50)’ to name a couple.
The cooking is hearty and the servings very substantial.
On this occasion I decided to start with the Steak Tartare (£8.50). With a whole egg on top the presentation was enjoyable and the flavours delectable; spiciness in the meat balanced with the capers, onions and perfect seasoning.
My main of Braised Rabbit was very rich with robust flavours. The succulent pieces of rabbit were complimented by the seasonal girolle mushrooms, while savoury spatzle delivered a good balance to the salty bacon. My one criticism would only be that I couldn't finish the whole plate as the flavours started to become overwhelming.
The service was attentive and caring; we were offered to try our wine selection before opening the bottle and our coffees were quickly changed without prompting as they looked too flat. We were not forgotten even after moving outside. It was all very pleasant.
Soif in my eyes, is by far the best eatery on this side of the strip of Battersea Rise. Spot on.