Reviews

Counter: dining under Vauxhall’s Arches

Counter Vauxhall Arches

An edgy New York-style brasserie set under a railway arch is well and truly on the right tracks.

Things are ever-so-slowly changing around Vauxhall, as the railway arches and its surrounds become populated with restaurants of serious reputation, alongside the area’s numerous cafes and bars.

A minutes walk from Vauxhall Station, just south of the river Thames, COUNTER is a smart addition to the neighbourhood, attracting those seeking hearty brunches and speciality coffee from across the capital.

The setting is a retro designed space with echoes of art-deco whose antique-mirrored walls and comfortable booths are  warmed by amber lighting creating a cosy vibe despite the industrial surrounds. Spanning the entire length of one arch, it’s been cleverly divided into two spaces providing a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Seated in one of the muted grey booths, we immediately settled into an afternoon of incredible food and lovely company.

The staff, too, are really good – friendly, passionate, efficient. Service was warm yet relaxed, which made for a delightful experience. The manager, Travis, talked us through the menu and I was reassured by the fact that he had an extensive knowledge of all of their dishes.

He offered us a ‘Build your own Bellini’ (£20) option, which includes a bottle of La Marca Prosecco, peach puree and peach slices. We loved building our bellinis and quite frankly, couldn’t think of a better way to finish the weekend off in style!

bellini

Brunch is a relaxing occasion where you gather with friends and family to fully enjoy your food and free time. And that’s why I love it. It makes no apologies for being neither breakfast nor lunch and instead, let’s you choose to enjoy whatever you so desire.

One of the best things about a weekend brunch at Counter is the menu’s variety. The breakfast burrito (sausage, scrambled eggs, avocado crema, spinach, jalapeño) is tempting, as is BBQ pulled pork, grits cakes, poached egg, chipotle hollandaise – but I opted for the spiced avocado, poached egg, toasted sourdough with a side of bacon. The spiciness of the avocado was perfectly balanced by the crispiness of the bacon. The egg was soft, flavoursome and presented beautifully.

spiced avocado counter vauxhall

The restaurant also offers a simple, good-value lunchtime menu. Try the Grilled Cauliflower Steak, as it looked heavenly.

My partner chose the Counter Burger with Gruyère cheese, bacon jam, ketchup, dill pickles, mustard and fries. She was pleasantly greeted with the juiciest of burgers and a rich depth of flavour.

Counter burger

In true American style, the desserts come in generous portions. Their banana cream pancakes topped with toasted peanuts are deliciously rich with a velevty texture that melts in the mouth. But make sure you order one to share and grab an extra spoon, or you’ll live to regret it.

banana pancakes

Counter’s not just for Brunch though, it’s proximity to Vauxhall station, means it’s a perfect pit stop for takeaway coffee or sip on a cocktail from it’s impressive bar (60m long) – whether it’s a Vauxhall Vesper, a magnificent Martini or the classic Cosmo.

They’re open late for drinks too.

BackCounter, serves up live jazz, show tune pianists and cabaret late into the night.

A great, much needed addition to blossoming Vauxhall.

COUNTER & BackCOUNTER are at:
Arch 50
7-11 South Lambeth Place
London SW8 1SP

BRASSERIE
MONDAY – THURSDAY    07:00 – 00:30
FRIDAY    07:00 – 01:30
SATURDAY    09:00 – 01:30
SUNDAY    09:00 – 00:30

BACKCOUNTER
WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY 17:00 – LATE

 

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