Imagine a dark, smoky wine bar on the seamier side of Paris, where people in the know go because they’ll find great food and wines by the bottle, carafe and glass at a price that makes them feel good. Well, Soif is a bit like that – only in Battersea Rise.
OK, there’s no Gauloises smoke, but the dark wood creates a moody backdrop and it’s perfect if you fancy whiling away an hour or two over an interesting bottle whilst nibbling on tapas-sized plates of Italian/French-inspired food.
Home-cured and carefully sourced French and Italian charcuterie is a feature, but the rest of the menu varies from night to night. Expect the likes of steak tartare with cured egg yolk, crispy fried artichokes with aïoli or marinated squid with tomatoes and marjoram, as well as a couple of bigger dishes for those who don’t like to share (think sea bream a la roteña or rib-eye steak with chips, salad and Dijon mustard).
Staff are keen that their customers enjoy themselves and are happy to make considered recommendations from the huge and impressive list of organic and ‘natural’ terroir-led wines and French ciders. The hard wooden chairs in the split-level room discourage lingering, so tables usually aren’t long in coming free.