Counter have stepped up their food game, with the recruitment of a pedigree new chef – Mahrez Loukal, ex of Quaglino’s and Chez Bruce, has come in as Head Chef and frou-froued up the menu with a touch of Gallic class. The brasserie staples (burger, steak, veal chop) are still there, now rubbing shoulders with wild sea trout & Granny Smith apple tartare (pictured), tartiflette and pigeon.
Our other choice of starter was the decidedly un-French duck tacos, which Chef Mahrez has yet to banish from West Kennington:
The honey glazed wild salmon fillet, grilled artichokes & dandelion leaves (pictured) was the highlight. No clues on the menu as to whether the dandelions were provenance Pleasure Gardens, but we are hoping that’s the translation of its ‘Seasonal’ claim.
For those of you who are in the throes of Veganuary, there’s the Quinoa Hot Pot:
If you haven’t been back to Counter since the excitement of its opening months, now would be a great time to return for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Positives: Ingenious use of outside space bringing several new street food options to the area. Sometimes they offer free filter coffee. They’re open weekday day times from 11.30am to 9.30pm, but tomorrow is the start of their last week for the year due to inclement weather. See our original review here – but all the stalls have changed since then. Here were the menus on our recent visit:
Zingle Food – North African cuisine
Naughty Roti – Indian inspired burritos
Argentine Steaks & Burgers
Negatives: There’s no escaping the fact that this is the outside area of the Lightbox nightclub and not actually a garden by any stretch of the imagination. There aren’t too many veggie options. In fact there aren’t as many stalls as when the “garden” opened last year, and those that are there haven’t taken as much trouble over their appearance.