There’ssomething steaming up the Vauxhall restaurant scene, located under the railway arches and no, it’s not a pop-up in a gay sauna. Say hello to Counter, a swanky French/American all day brasserie creating somewhat of a buzz in the limited market of eateries in the area. High opulence comes from the 60 metre long bar, lacquered in grey tones with touches of brass. This screams New York City not SW8. With a killer cocktail list to match, we had our best Manhattan outside of Manhattan…
The transatlantic menu will have you torn between sides. Cassoulet and confit duck sit between fried chicken and burgers. We started on home turf first; Moules marinieres with a rich creamy sauce and generous portion of plump mussels – not the usual types you’ll often spot on a sunny day in the ‘hood and a crispy fried duck egg and beet salad. Ooo la la!
We then crossed the pond, the braised beef short rib with dauphinoise and caramelised chicory was deliciously rich and tender, with a hit of bitterness from the smokey chicory. A healthy slab of New York cheesecake almost had us singing the American national anthem.
If you’re heading on that midnight train to…erm…Vauxhall, you’ll be please to know that BackCounter, the saucy sidekick to Counter is also now open. The dedicated drinking space hosts a series of live jazz, piano recitals and maybe even a few drag queens singing a show tune. Counter is clever, it appeals to pretty much everyone. From its diverse mix of residents, to commuters, tourists, professionals and hedonists. You now have a respectable reason to visit Vauxhall, and not just that ‘Roman Spa’.
Arch 50, 7-11 South Lambeth Place, London SW8 1SP