It is not easy to get to Golborne Road from where I live in South London, so it takes a special restaurant to convince me to make the trip. But when I heard the 108 Garage team were opening a second Japanese inspired restaurant I was more than happy to make the effort to try the new venue.
Luca Longobardi and Chris Denney have taken over a Victorian Pub on Golborne Road and given the place a radical makeover. On the ground floor you’ll find Southam Street Grill serving creative Japanese food and open for lunch and dinner. Upstairs they are opening a separate sake room, a raw bar, and a private members club, making it a one-stop destination for West London’s movers and shakers.
I absolutely loved the design, an eclectic mix of dusty pink paint, tropical wallpapers and vintage and velvet furniture. Japanese trinkets and old books sit looking pretty on the shelves.
The menu is an unusual pairing, familiar British produce with Japanese flavours and techniques. The list is split into: Snacks, Small Plates, Mains and Sides, and we were recommended to choose about three plates each.
The clear winner on our table of colourful dishes was the Crispy Skin Poussin with spring onion and coriander. The bird was beautifully cooked with a satisfyingly crispy skin and rested in a bowl of aromatic broth. The ideal winter dish. We also liked the Soft Shell Crab Harumaki (a kind of spring rolls) although the proportion of crab to vegetables felt a bit mean. Baby back ribs with chipotle miso and lime were very tasty but needed a little bit more spice to really impress.
All the sides were pleasant, comforting fried mushrooms with garlic and cilantro and Fries topped with curry sauce and cheese!
I thought the dessert section of the menu needed a bit more thought. We tried the Strawberry chawan mushi and the Plate of fruit with passion fruit pudding, both of which tasted like vanilla panna cotta topped with fruit. Tasty and very pretty but definitely not as imaginative as the savoury section of the menu.
Southam Street is yet another stylish venue to open on West London’s ever-evolving Golborne Road, and I’m sure this beautiful new building will be a hit with the locals.
More information and book a table at Southam Street here.