But look at what you wear
And the way you cut your hair
After a particularly bad meal at South London’s Food Room HS and I made a pact. If ever one of us so much as mentioned going to a London burb with a SW in the postcode then the other brother would shake the miscreant brother, hard, and then bitch slap them until they came to their senses. Luckily HS was thousands of miles away so a slap wasn’t an option, instead I got NL’d (Northern Line’d) which was a suitable punishment.
For those of us fortunate enough to live in the hills of North London the southbound Northern Line comes as a profound shock. Even at rush hour once you go south of a stop called Elephant and Castle the train just stops…and stops and stops. What was happening ? Border checks ? Run out of fuel ? An apology was broadcast over the PA. The reason for the delay was that there were a lot of trains in the area. No, me neither.
Anyway. At the risk of coming over all AAG the reason for my trek south was to try a new place by the people behind Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick which the younger (but in no way lesser) Hermano had enjoyed a while back. The new branch is called Harrison’s and is on Bedford Hill, an area I last visited about twenty-five years ago when it was the home of the Banana Cabaret (with Paul 'Smartie' Merton, Helen Lederer and John ‘Glasses’ Hegely for those that remember or even care).
This is Harrison's rehearsal week and although one of the FOH felt the need to emphasise this fact by apologising in advance (it’s the English way of managing disappointment) everything from the service to the food was really pretty good. Looking at the menu it’s not terrifically ambitious – mostly short order stuff - but the cooking is accurate, the prices not too scary and the food actually tastes of something. Just what you want from a nabe joint.
Deciding to go the whole hog (hats tipped in the direction of KC sorry, KCMO) I started off with a DM which was suitably cold and dry. Of the two starters I preferred my house terrine, which wasn’t really a terrine, more slices of pressed meat (in this case breast and confit’d leg). It lacked the fat content that would have made it spreadable on the accompanying toast but made up in being a very meaty if a tad under-seasoned mouthful. The Deep Fried Squid came as tiddly rings notable for very fresh cephalopods but with a slightly odd coating (apparently it’s some sort of Japanese derived mix). Sometimes it’s preferable to leave the main ingredient well alone and jazz up the accompaniment but hey that’s what rehearsals are for.
Having confirmed that the chips weren’t fat I went for the steak which came as a hefty lump of sirloin, cooked rare with a nice band of fat and (unmentioned on the menu but welcome nonetheless) a big piece of marrow which was very good spread over the meat. Chips were small which is not quite as bad as being fat but pretty, pretty, pretty close. Bearnaise was a little thin in consistency but tasted good.
Ice cream was on the menu but was one of several items not available during the soft opening but I really liked a sherry trifle which was suitably boozy with er..sherry.
And that was that. The staff were very friendly to the extent that when I realised they had a 50% off the food offer and I returned to the restaurant to question the bill they patiently explained to me that the discount had already been applied to the bill (which they showed me) but stopped short of saying “that’s because you ordered so much food and booze you fat git”. The walk of shame out of the restaurant was a very long one.
I probably won’t go back to Harrison’s again: that tube ride, my embarrassment. Also, it’s not really a destinational place but more somewhere for that impromptu meal be it breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. And a drink, of course. Oh and if you’re reading this HS, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. It won’t happen again. Promise.