I do not normally venture to the darkest depths of South West London, so I was more than sceptical as I parked up outside Iceland on Tooting High Street that this was home to one of London’s best new restaurants. We arrived just as the last of the vendor’s were shutting up shop, however there was life under the corrugated rafters with light radiating from one of the units at the far end. Located inside Broadway Market, every centimetre of available space has been utilised with a sleek and stylish design. Starkly contrasting the surrounding shutters emblazoned with vibrant graffiti, Plot marks the slow but steady regeneration of the area.
The best place to perch is at the marble wrap around counter with an uninterrupted view into the open kitchen. There are also two communal wooden tables placed in the middle of the grass green walkway, which makes it feel less as though you are sitting in a corridor. As we sat down I could see the horror on my mother’s face at the rather limited menu (she is a VERY fussy eater). I was also a little worried as I could only see two items that I was immediately drawn to, however we ordered our drinks and perused.
The British-ish menu changes weekly and is comprised of small plates. All of the produce is locally sourced, so local in fact that the trout had been obtained from Clapham’s favourite fish monger Moxon’s. Although some of the dishes had definitely sought their inspiration from elsewhere, with the lamb and goat dishes channelling a Middle Eastern vibe.
The plates come as and when they are ready in typical 2017 style and the first to arrive was the Tunworth. I had never heard of Tunworth before, but apparently it is an English-style Camembert and it was utterly delicious! The posh cheese on toast was doused in honey and adorned with pickled mushrooms.
Next up were the scallops. I normally dislike peas but they were served in the pureed variety with chorizo chunks, a sensational combination. The other stand out dish was the rump of lamb bathed in a Moroccan style rub with a subtle but refreshing salsa. The goat ragu had been recommended by multiple members of staff and was deserving of its high praise. The rich sauce was beautifully complemented by a cool cucumber yoghurt. The super fresh trout was grilled to perfection and served on a bed of sweet but tangy ratatouille.
Possessing the biggest sweet tooth in Britain, I was surprised that the dessert was my least favourite dish. We shared the basil panna cotta and were informed this is the dessert for people that do not like desserts, which might have been the problem. The accompanying berry compote was definitely the highlight for me.
I was curious how the restaurant coped in the winter. Despite there being walls and a roof to shelter you from the elements, there did not seem to be much protection from the cold. I was informed that there are heaters, however if you are anything like me (a fair-weather diner) I will probably be reserving my visits for May to September.
With the exception of the desert, although I think this was down to personal preference, the fare exceeded expectations and was well worth the journey to South West. My mother tried and liked every dish, which was testament to the quality of the food. However this is only one component of Plot and the service is what set it apart. Mark and his team were utterly delightful, with an unrivalled knowledge of the produce and a clear enthusiasm for their work. Special mention goes to Susie, her passion was infectious and she is a real credit to the team. My only minor criticism would be that there were no side dishes. Dinner is not dinner to me without committing carbocide!
Grilled Tunworth, truffle honey, pickled mushrooms £7.50
Shetland Scallops, garden pea, Trealy Farm chorizo £10.50
Harissa goat ragu, roast aubergine, cucumber yoghurt £10.50
Peppered Norfolk Horn lamb rump, English garden salsa £11.00
Wild Sea Trout, ratatouille, bloody mary butter £11.00
Sweet basil panna cotta, summer berries £7.00
Plot Restaurant, 70-72 Broadway Market, 29 Tooting High St, London SW17 0RL
020 8767 2639