Finally, we get up close and personal with the thrusting landmark we’ve seen hulking on the London skyline for decades: Battersea Power Station. It’s the night of the full-moon as we make our way to supper at Brindisa, hurtling along the new branch of the Northern Line which deposits us on the carefully manicured threshold of what its developers are calling “a new town centre for the borough of Wandsworth.”
Family Restaurant of the Week: Brindisa, Battersea Power Station
20th October 2022
Battersea Power Station is open at last, and there's a host of family-friendly neighbourhood restaurants to enjoy during half-term and beyond in this shiny new London district. SPHERE takes a trip to Battersea Power Station and samples the Spanish delights of Brindisa.
The entire development feels like a curious clash between the cosiness of Primrose Hill, complete with homely brasseries, beauty salons and a general store, abutted by gargantuan apartment blocks reminiscent of Dubai.
These contradictions can only exist because they have a star about which to turn - the architecturally staggering former power station restored by developers for £9 billion. It opened to the public last weekend with a mall, luxury apartments, concert venue, offices tenanted by Apple Inc and a glass elevator so tourists can whizz 109 metres to the top of one of the towers, living out their best Bond fantasy. This weekend Battersea hosts a Festival of Power to mark its launch.
Tucked away in this rather epic setting is Brindisa, part of the respected Spanish restaurant group founded in 1988 by Monika Linton as a food stall at Borough market. Now encompassing three stores – they still have a lovely one at Borough – and five restaurants. Word to the foodies, the chorizo grill outside their Borough store is worth the queue.
Brindisa’s thing is tapas, as it should be – with a dedication to sourcing exemplary cheese, Iberico ham (£24 for a melt in the mouth plate) and other Spanish gourmand delights.
We went in the spirit of enjoying all the classics from their menu, and there wasn’t a crumb left shortly every delectable small plate was deposited in front of us. Delicately baked, mouth-watering Pan Con Tomate (£5.50) as light and fresh as you’d get in Seville, addictive Perello Gordal olives (£5) stuffed with oregano and orange, and sizzling garlicky prawns (£11) launched our Spanish odyssey. Soon to be joined by intensely creamy blossom honey coated Monte Enbro goats cheese (£9.50), their famous grilled Chorizo de León (£10) and Calamar a la Plancha (£15) complete with inky black sauce paired with Brocoli a la Catalana (£7). We would have finished with their signature Rosquillas Caseras, (£6.50) delicious home-made doughnuts, but they’d sold out. Instead we savoured their deliciously light and fluffy Tarta de Queso (£6.50), a goat curd cheesecake, studded with jewel bright figs.
Which brings us back to the curiousness of Battersea Power Station –we expected it to be quiet, but thousands of people already live there, thanks to the tube and piles of apartment blocks, meaning every restaurant in the area was buzzing with locals out to enjoy the evening. Brindisa firmly plays to this local crowd, and doesn’t pretend it’s anything other than a great place to go and eat and drink with friends, family- children are welcome - or a date.
We witnessed all of life taking place in its varied settings, with outdoor seating to the front, overlooking the river, full of groups drinking Rioja and enjoying their sharing plates. The back of the restaurant is all booths and snug corners, with the addition of a private dining room. We would recommend a table here for the winter months, close to the theatre of its open kitchen where the fiery banter of the Spanish chefs blends perfectly with punchy aromas in the air.