I am a self confessed foodie and have been gripped by the latest series of MasterChef. So imagine my delight when I discovered that MasterChef judge and gourmand Gregg Wallace decided to open his first restaurant near me in Putney, South West London.
I am a self confessed foodie and was gripped by the latest series of MasterChef. So imagine my delight when I discovered that MasterChef judge and gourmand Gregg Wallace decided to open his first restaurant near me in Putney, South West London.
Wallace & Co provides a restaurant outlet for Wallace and business partner Vernon Mascarenhas’ produce farm Secrett’s Direct and promises to provide fresh seasonal British food.
It has strong credentials with head chef Tim Payne having worked with Marco Pierre White including at The Mirabelle.
As I walk up to it, it looks great. Window boxes that edge the decking are filled with fresh herbs and salad leafs. A small stall of fresh fruit and vegetables is just next to the door. On entering the restaurant it feels like walking into a French café with a large country table filled with homemade cakes and pastries.
My friend and I had popped in for coffee and cakes and even though we weren’t staying for a meal the staff were happy for us to take a table in the restaurant rather than perch on stools in the café section.
I had the walnut and coffee cake (£3.50) which was rich but not too sweet while my friend who cannot eat wheat or dairy was thrilled to find a dairy free, wheat free chocolate cake (£3.50) which she says was lovely and moist.
Having seen the Sunday Lunch menu, I decide to return and try this out before reporting back. The menu takes full advantage of seasonal ingredients which means it will be hard to tire of the menu offerings as it changes regularly. There will always be the ever popular Sunday roasts on the menu though and when we went these were roast rib of beef (£14.50) and roast chicken (£13). There was a lovely side of spring greens and cauliflower cheese and the servings were generally generous though they were stingy with the roast potatoes – we were given just two half potatoes each! We shared sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream (£5) for dessert which was rich and sweet without being too heavy and almost had to be rolled out of the restaurant.
While I love the ambiance and the food, the thing that is letting the side down at the moment is the service. The staff are generally friendly but they just don’t seem to be managed. Service is slow and even when there aren’t many people there, no one seems to notice to customers.
Hopefully Gregg and Co will sort this out so that Wallace & Co can blossom into the fabulous local eatery that a MasterChef judge would be proud of.
Wallace & Co – 146 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London SW15 2sw – 020 8780 0052