WALLACE AND CO: A QUICK ONE
A lot people seem to have a problem with Greg “It’s deeeep” Wallace, star presenter of TV’s Masterchef. It appears to be based upon the fact that:
a)he's bald and
b)when tasting food he shoves his spoon into his mouth in such a way as to induce nausea in the viewers
It’s a bit unfair really, my twice published brother, Hermano Segundo is also:
b)as anyone who’s sat near him at a DWDH knows, quite capable of performing revolting acts with his mouth
and still everyone loves him. Well, Sybil and I do anyway (after taking legal advice).
But I digress. As well as hosting TV programmes Mr Wallace is also part owner of Secretts, who supply fruit and veg to the restaurant trade, and out of that has sprung a deli/café, Wallace & Co, which has just opened its first branch in Putney. I say first branch because that’s what it felt like – a model for future Wallace & Cos.
My visit was not planned as I’d wanted to have big slap-up lunch of Fish and Chips in a nearby venue, but as that proved more of a slap-in-the-face (post soon come) sort of experience I needed a little cheering-up. And, Wallace & Co more or less did the job.
The first thing to say is it’s not really a destinational sort of place – more somewhere you would pop into if you fancied a quick bite. During the day there’s a selection of salads, soups, pies and tarts. In the evening there’s a few additions to the menu in the form of protein + starch. There’s a lot of competition in the area including the excellent Prince of Wales next door so it will be interesting to see how popular the evenings are.
Prices appear pretty keen but portions aren’t massive and dishes are very to the point so you’re going end up ordering quite a few plates if you do want a substantial meal. Quality is good though as in my Charcuterie plate which had meat from Trealy Farm in Monmouthshire. Salami, Coppa and Bresaola were all excellent and served properly, at room temperature.
Anyone who’s anyone does a Scotch Egg these days with wildly varying results and prices. Wallace & Co’s version was very good. It was warm which meant it was, if not cooked to order, at least cooked recently. It was cut into quarters, presumably because cut in half or served whole it would look pretty stupid on the piece of flotsam it was served on. It had nice porky meat but was also quite small - no more than a few bites – but at least it didn’t cost £7.
A salad of Chicory, Pear and Blue Cheese was a good idea, not least because you could use your hands to shove the leaves (deeeeeep) into your gob. The dish didn’t quite come off though because the Pears, although quite perfumed, weren’t sweet enough, and the Blue Cheese wasn’t salty or, er, blue enough. Comice Pears and Colston Bassett would have worked a treat here.
I’m told Greg likes his puddings and sure enough there’s a fair number to chose from on the menu. Treacle Tart was good but would have been even better served tiède. The serving was on the wrong side of mean but maybe that was just me being greedy (I’ll rephrase that: that was me being greedy). I had it à la mode, obviously.
With a few alcoholic drinks of various hues, good coffee and a decent gratuity for the friendly service, the bill was probably more than it would be for normal human beings but just right for a Hermano, especially one who was wet, miserable and hungry. Never was a tip so well earned.