Antipodea

You may already be familiar with Brew and its coffee – if not, see my review of this brunch haven here.  Branching out from its day-time vibes, however, the team behind Brew have set up Antipodea, an all-day Australian brasserie that converts from a laid back Melbourne hangout, serving  legendary corn fritters and All Press coffee, to what this restaurant aims to be (and succeeds at): a dining spot.

Having been to their Kew branch, I ventured to the newly established Putney restaurant, a 15-20 minute walk from Putney Bridge station. Even the walk from the station, along the river and the lovely looking Boma Bridge restaurant, transports you into (upper) middle-class suburbia, especially walking past luxe interior design spots (yes, you Bulthaup kitchens!).

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I had high expectations for Antipodea based on my visit to its Kew sibling.  And I wasn’t disappointed: its alfresco terrace felt like a secret garden on a July summer evening, decorated with lavender plants, rustic wooden furniture, and fairy lights. Kew similarly has a cosy terrace spot that would make anyone want to snuggle up in one of their blankets and eat al fresco in the winter, or enjoy a glass of wine or, in my companion’s friend, a gin cocktail in the summer.

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Onto the food, the menu is speckled with Australian and Asian influences, accompanied by some seasonal choices. Whilst Brew favourites do feature (sadly the corn fritters are only on offer at brunch), the menu also showcases some new innovations.

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My companion’s watermelon, burrata and pesto starter
As I’d been meaning to try it for some time, I went for the Bengali aubergine, cauliflower, tofu and cavelo nero salad, with a mandatory side of Polenta chips.  The salad was packed full of flavour: the cardamom spices and the colourful pomegranate seeds struck the perfect balance between sweetness and spice. Very Ottolenghian.  And this comes as no surprise: Antipodea’s internationally-influenced menu takes inspiration from James Brown. A classically trained chef, he marries his vast London and Manchester experiences with Moran Etedegi’s Israeli fusion of flavours.  Etedegi trained in his native Israel and has worked alongside St Yotam himself.

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The polenta, meanwhile, was also irresistible: the creamy aioli dip and the speckles of rock salt slipped down very well with a glass of the “densely fruity” house white.

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So it’s true: Brew/Antipodea do offer everything, from morning coffee and brunch, to afternoon cakes and late-night dining. And their filling and flavoursome fusion foods are served in the dreamiest settings, all within South West London. Ideal.

Antipodea, 162-164 Lower Richmond Road, London, SW15 1LY

Website: http://antipodea.co.uk/

Rating: *****

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