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|Address:||Battersea Square, London SW11 3RA|
|Tel:||020 3544 0797|
|Price: £52.00||Wine: £22.00||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 6-10pm Fri-Sat 12N-2.30pm (Sat -3pm) Sun 12N-3pm 6-9.30pm|
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I am a tiny bit miffed that London House has taken on this site because I have moved out of the area and this is so much better than the previous occupant, the woeful Bennet's, which managed to open up and shut down in my time. To avoid the same fate, this venue needs to be destination dining good enough to draw the crowds from North Chelsea to South Chelsea (or So Chi as I now call it, you heard it hear first); I think the food here will merit the journey for most. My starter of pig's head croquette tasted as delicious as it sounded horrible: plenty of hearty meat in a crisp coating with a fantastic sharp but delicate sauce and salad to cut through it. We waited what seemed like a finger-drumming eternity for the mains to come out but boy was it worth the wait: the beef fillet was tender and melted in the mouth with barely the need to chew and came with the most exquisite potato gnocchi stuffed with an intense rich stewed meat which I think was beef cheeks, again so much tastier than it sounds. On a roll, the dessert was an amazing parfait, sweet and crunchy meringue on the outside, with a perfectly judged mango sauce. Service was generally good (for example bread brought swiftly for me when they realised I was sat alone waiting for tardy friends) but the long delay for the mains spoilt it a bit and made us wonder if there's some inherent problem in the kitchen layout which would explain why Bennet's had also been so crap at getting the food out. I was glad to see the copper topped bar survived the refurb but the new dark colour scheme it is a bit too oppressive for me especially at lunchtime when candles don't just create an intimate evening atmosphere but are necessary for extra light. Still, the 3 course lunch menu (with a very good range of choices) at £28 was bloody good value; I imagine an evening meal would be more fitting but pricier. It's only a matter of time until Made in Chelsea films here. So Chi has arrived.