Travel Report: Richard’s Kitchen – Tooting Bec, London.
May 2019. It was a sleepy afternoon in Tooting Bec and Henry and I were in the mood for a Sunday Roast. I hadn’t had a proper English roast in over two years, so we’d been half thinking about going all out for a fancy (and pricy) visit to The Wheatsheaf pub just across the road from Tooting Bec Station. And then I passed the cosy-looking Richard’s Kitchen on Tooting Bec Road with its board outside advertising reasonably priced roast options. “Oh yeah Richard’s Kitchen is decent” piped in Henry and suddenly our decision was made.
May 2019. Richard’s Kitchen is the brainchild of local cooking god Richard Underhill, who whips up “Modern British food”, whole striving to “cater for all food preferences, requirements and intolerances”. So yes you can get all your favourite meaty dishes here, while vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free options are also available. Nice to know, but Henry and I were looking for the meatiest roasts we could find and from the looks of the menu Richard wasn’t going to disappoint.
May 2019. Having ordered our respective dishes, I did my usual Leighton Literature shtick of wandering around the place exploring all its little details. I love the community feel within the café, from the friendly waitresses and local events posters to the wall of fame with its children’s artwork depicting both Richard and his kitchen with what feels like genuine affection.
May 2019. My investigations were soon cut short though because Richard’s Kitchen was getting busier. So I rejoined Henry and our cups of tea while we waited for the feast to arrive.
I knew the food was going to be amazing the second it hit the table. Mine was an outstanding Roast Welsh Black Beef Sirloin with horseradish (£15) and Henry’s delectable Crispy Pork Belly with apple sauce came in at £14.50. Both dishes are served with roast potatoes, parsnips, savoy cabbage, glazed carrots, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.
May 2019. As we were finishing up Richard himself emerged from a backroom dressed in his chef whites and clutching a tray of fresh veg. Softly spoken and effortlessly friendly, he graciously accepted my compliments on the roast and agreed my request for a photograph.
In fact, so game was Richard that he even suggested I take another photo that included the rest of the team. For more info on opening times and sample menus, check Richard’s website.
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