I had been to the rather lively branch of The Lavender restaurant in Battersea, and enjoyed the ambience. So I expected something similar when I went to the Vauxhall branch. This visit was not recent, but it was one of my most memorable restaurant experiences.
We walked into a near empty bar in the middle of what felt like an industrial estate. It looked like the sort of place you go to by mistake and basically turn around and leave immediately. It looked shabby, one of the windows was boarded up. There were a couple of Bikers drinking in the corner and a girl standing by the bar dressed very much like a lady of the night!. However we had made a reservation for dinner, and were hungry, so we braved it out.
We were the only diners and our expectations were so low, we were absolutely shocked (jaw-dropingly shocked) when another biker type from the Kitchen delivered our food. Not because there was anything wrong with it, quite the opposite. The real shock was the presentation. It was totally out of keeping with the venue. I have been to top restaurants that can not deliver food that looked as good. It tasted good too.
This was a rare example where the food took precedence over the venue, which was really refreshing, and made us realise that you really should not judge by appearances.
Marks out of 10
Ambience – so odd I am not sure I can give a mark.
We have been going to several of the restaurants in the Tas group for a good few years now. They are ideal venues for vegetarians as well, as the menu covers a number of interesting non meat dishes.
The first one Tas The Cut is still the best, followed by the Tas Borough High Street. The one in The Cut is very efficient and delivers good quality food. Ironically based on my experience you are more likely to spot a celebrity here, than at the Ivy – the Old and Young Vic Theatres are in the same street. On our last visit the actress Jenny Agutter was dining at the table next to ours.
The Tas group specialises in Anatolian cuisine, and also runs a couple of delicatessens.
They have a larger venue call EV located under the arches near Southwark Tube station. This is great on a summer evening for drinks or for a cheap night out with a large group, as is Tas Pide, which is right next to the Globe Theatre.