Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lukewarm Cooking That Left Me Cold; Turn Up the Heat: Philip Greene, Head Chef at the Butcher & Grill

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lukewarm Cooking That Left Me Cold; Turn Up the Heat: Philip Greene, Head Chef at the Butcher & Grill

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN SEWELL

The Butcher & Grill. . ..

33 High Street, SW19 (020 8944 8269). Open Mon-Sun 8.30am-3.30pm and 6pm-11pm;Sun noon-4pm. Dinner for two with wine about [pounds sterling]90. Set lunch menu [pounds sterling]15 for threecourses.

Tap water service: Readily brought with ice and lemon..

IT HAS been a great year for Wimbledon Village with the arrival of, first, theLoch Fyne fish shop, and, second, a branch of the Batterseabased Butcher &Grill. The Butcher bit looks wonderful, with salamis and other delicatessen onthe left and prime beef, lamb and pork on the right, both tempting the villagerto be extravagant. The Grill, however, proved a shade disappointing, its baretables set among slabs of drab blue paint and varnished timber that seem asurvival of the not so Swinging Sixties, the kitchen activities providingtheatre at the back.

As it grew hotter and noisierit has a convivial long table in the centre not unlike the ghastly Wagamamait seemed quite definitely not the place to linger over decent wine.

Decent?well, I assume so from a list in which so many bottles hover within reach of[pounds sterling]40 or [pounds sterling]50. We chose none of them but drank by the glass, for a fiver each, amean measure of an Argentinian chardonnay that was drinkable enough, and anequally small quantity of Kemptal Gruner Vetliner from Austria that waswretchedly thin and not worth finishing.

The iced tap water, dressed with lemon, was exactly what one expects inWimbledon.

At anything called a Grill one should perhaps stick to steak. The sirloin wasdelicious, and not wildly extravagant at [pounds sterling]17, but tiny slivers of lamb rump at[pounds sterling]16.50, if they were to be tasted at all, had to be separated from their bed ofgrilled aubergine and an overwhelming tomato sauce with an Italian disregardfor subtlety.

A pair of modest mushrooms for [pounds sterling]2.75 were ridiculously dear, so too were thetiny quantities of spinach and mashed potato. The free green pepper sauce wasdelicious, but garlic and herb butter tasted of none of its constituents and wediscarded most of it. …

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