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Travel Report: Richard’s Kitchen, London.

Richard's Kitchen Tooting Bec London

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. In fact, I hadn’t had an English roast in over two years! As good as the food is in China, they’re not so shit hot when it comes to Yorkshire pudding.

I had assumed we would hit one of the local pubs. Perhaps The Rose and Crown, or maybe The Wheatsheaf. But then Henry hit me with a curveball. “Richard’s Kitchen does a good Sunday roast” he said, tapping away on his MacBook. “It’s a tiny place, but the food’s decent”. In all my time in Tooting Bec I’d only really been half aware of Richard’s Kitchen, an eatery I’d passed countless times walking up and down Tooting Bec Road.

Richard's Kitchen Tooting Bec.

Richard’s Kitchen.

I certainly had no idea that this was one of the neighbourhood’s best Sunday roast spots. It took us just four minutes to get there from Henry’s house on Elmbourne Road. It was early afternoon and happily (for us at least) we found the place empty. Having our pick of the tables, we settled down and the breezy waitress strode over with a pair of menus.

Richard's Kitchen Menu Tooting Bec

Richard’s Kitchen.

According to their website, Richard’s Kitchen specialises in classic British dishes with modern, global twists. Moreover, there is a firm focus on the freshest local ingredients, while Richard goes to great lengths to ensure the menu is ever changing.

Richard’s Kitchen, London.

Richard Underhill Tooting Bec London

Richard’s Kitchen.

After ordering, we were graced by the presence of Richard himself, who came cheerfully helloing through the main door carrying a bulging tray of vegetables. With a rare quality of being somehow hairy and fresh-faced at the same time, he cuts an affable figure. Watching him converse in a fatherly way with his small team, I instinctively felt that our Sunday lunch experience was in good hands.

Richard Underhill London chef.

Richard’s Kitchen.

A Tooting Bec resident for over twenty years, Richard Underhill’s love for cooking came from his mother, a talented chef. However, it wasn’t until he was a young gap-year-young-man that he started dabbling in the kitchen himself. Among his first dishes, a simple plate of fish fingers and an altogether more daring blackcurrant sorbet!

Later, in 1989, Richard completed a prestigious Cordon Bleu course and built his reputation as a cook in a variety of restaurants and hotels. Finally, he realised his dream of opening his own restaurant and catering business with the launch of Richard’s Kitchen.

Dinner at Richard's Kitchen in London

The Sunday crowd builds.

While Henry and I worked on a pot of Earl Grey tea, the Sunday roast crowd began to gather momentum. We had timed our visit perfectly it seemed, with our dishes arriving before the first group even ordered.

Where to Eat in Tooting Bec.

Sunday Roast beef Richard's Kitchen Tooting Bec.

Richard’s Kitchen.

With such a wonderful array of Sunday roast options, I half wondered if I’d made the right choice. But just one bite of my delicious Roast Welsh Black Beef Sirloin set me at ease. Beautifully presented, soft on the tongue and oozing flavour, it went down a treat. As did the accompanying carrots, horseradish, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. The dish is priced at £15, not too bad for London.

Sunday roast crispy pork belly Richard's Kitchen

Richard’s Kitchen.

Henry’s dish looked similarly top notch. He went for the Crispy Pork Belly with Apple Sauce. Also with Yorkshire pudding, carrots, roast potatoes and gravy, but with cabbage rather than horseradish. This one goes for £14.50.

Children's artwork Richard's Kitchen London.

Richard’s Kitchen.

Polishing off the last few carrots, I found my attention drawn to an arty section of the restaurant wall. Endearingly, it’s a little montage of children’s drawings depicting both Richard and his restaurant. Looks like he’s a bit of a local hero.

Children's portrait Richard's Kitchen Tooting Bec

Richard’s Kitchen.

Before leaving, we had a quick chat with Richard in order to pass our compliments on to the chef. When I asked if I could take his photo for this blog article, he kindly agreed. But only if I made it a group shot of the team. Seemed like a fair trade.

Richard’s Kitchen.

Meet the team Richard's Kitchen Tooting Bec

Richard’s Kitchen.

When in Tooting Bec… do go and treat yourself at Richard’s Kitchen. The food is great, competitively priced and there’s a laid-back, intimate feel to the joint. For more info and the full lowdown on his latest dishes, head for the website. 

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  • Anonymous

    Nice report. Hope Richard’s Kitchen has survived the lockdown.

    September 4, 2021 - 9:17 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Happily he seems to have! Thanks for reading.

      September 4, 2021 - 9:41 am Reply
  • Sheree

    I shall pass this onto my sister who doesn’t live too far away.

    September 4, 2021 - 11:04 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Sheree, let me know if she ever ends up going and what she thinks.

      September 4, 2021 - 11:10 am Reply
      • Sheree

        Will do!

        September 4, 2021 - 8:00 pm
  • Little Miss Traveller

    Ooh Leighton I’m an enormous fan of Sunday roasts and both your roast beef and Henry’s belly pork look top notch. What a great find! Enjoy your weekend. Marion

    September 4, 2021 - 12:10 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Marion, glad you liked the looks of Richard’s Kitchen. I do miss a Sunday a roast!

      September 4, 2021 - 12:17 pm Reply
  • kagould17

    We were in London on several Sundays but never tried the Sunday roast. Looks like next time we will have to give it a go. Richard’s Kitchen looks like the place of someone who cares about the food he serves. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    September 4, 2021 - 2:45 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading Allan! Haven’t had a Sunday roast in nearly two years. Definitely got some cravings while doing this article.

      September 4, 2021 - 3:59 pm Reply
  • Memo

    You had me at the word Kitchen. My kind of place. And your food photography is mouth watering. I know what I want for my main meal today and what I won’t get. I’m so jealous.

    September 4, 2021 - 3:57 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Well Memo, that makes two of us, as I’m also jealous of 2019 Leighton. Hopefully 2022 Leighton will make it up for it with multiple roast dinners.

      September 4, 2021 - 4:00 pm Reply

    Oh now you’ve blown it. Seven weeks into this trip and I wasn’t missing a single thing about home. Now you’ve hit me with pictures of roast beef and Yorkshire. Blimey that souvlaki is going to have to be blinding tonight now.

    September 4, 2021 - 4:38 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha ha. Thanks for reading guys!

      September 4, 2021 - 5:01 pm Reply
  • salsaworldtraveler

    Mmm! Looks delicious😋. Your description of Richard is perfect. I must stop reading these posts when I’m hungry. Now I’m off to my own kitchen for a snack. Cheers!

    September 4, 2021 - 8:31 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha. What was your snack of choice?

      September 4, 2021 - 9:11 pm Reply
  • salsaworldtraveler

    It was sort of along the same lines – grilled hamburger, spinach and fries, I mean chips!. 😄

    September 4, 2021 - 10:38 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    Sunday roast is a something that I’ve yet to try. Even though I’m not British, I know it’s such a huge, cultural thing! And the idea of greasy, fatty, and comforting food sounds absolutely delightful. Richard’s Kitchen looks to be an affordable establishment, and I’ll have to check it out someday!

    September 4, 2021 - 11:43 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Sunday roasts are usually the domain of pubs, or mum’s kitchen at home. Richard’s Kitchen succeeds in creating that homey feel, along with a higher quality roast than you’d get in most watering holes. Hope you get to sample a British roast dinner one of these years!

      September 5, 2021 - 9:01 am Reply
  • wetanddustyroads

    I love Sunday roasts … in fact, we’ve just enjoyed one (prepared by my husband). But to find such a little gem as Richard’s kitchen, must be great! If I have not eaten yet, I would have drooled all over my laptop’s screen!!

    September 5, 2021 - 2:51 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah what a coincidence that you’ve just Sunday Roasted yourselves. Tell me, what does a Sunday Roast look like in your house?

      September 5, 2021 - 3:07 pm Reply
      • wetanddustyroads

        Well, it’s a full plate to start with! Roasted leg of lamb, roasted potatoes (and it must be roasted in duck fat), sweet pumpkin fritters, yellow rice with raisins and a nice and crisp salad (to remind us there must be something healthy on your plate 😉). And for dessert – any baked pudding (today was Malva pudding). Wikipedia described it as: A sweet pudding, contains apricot jam and has a spongy caramelised texture. A cream sauce is often poured over it while it’s hot.
        There you go … I’m not eating till, well tomorrow 😅.

        September 5, 2021 - 3:55 pm
  • grandmisadventures

    Another place I want to become friends with the owner and spend all day eating the delicious food. How sweet that the children’s artwork is adorning the wall! You know youve made it as a chef when an age group notorious for being selective eaters love your cooking and draw a picture of you. 🙂

    September 6, 2021 - 2:14 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha right? The kids always know what’s up. Thanks for joining Henry and I for dinner at Richard’s Kitchen!

      September 6, 2021 - 8:06 pm Reply
  • rkrontheroad

    The Sunday roast sounds like a British tradition. I’m not a meat-and-potatoes person, but your description of Richard is so endearing it sounds like a warm and welcoming place.

    September 6, 2021 - 4:15 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I certainly couldn’t do a Sunday roast weekly, or even monthly like many people in England do. Nor would it get anywhere close to, say, my top ten dishes. But boy do I enjoy the few roasts I have every 2-3 years when I return home.

      September 6, 2021 - 8:19 pm Reply
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  • Fiajames

    Wonderful place

    September 15, 2021 - 6:48 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for visiting!

      September 15, 2021 - 8:14 am Reply
  • gate io app

    I’ve eaten here, such a cool restaurant! great write up.

    April 2, 2023 - 9:55 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah that’s great, thanks for your comment. What did you order?

      April 2, 2023 - 11:48 pm Reply

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