RiverTribe Editor Linda Duberley and Vegan Writer Lulu Gibbons ventured along the Upper Richmond Road to Putney and found a heart in a restaurant called Home SW15.
I often talk with local restaurant owners about the challenge of the daytime market. It is true that while five years ago the lunchtime trade was quite vibrant, these days it is far more challenging. Some of the best known names in the informal dining business, buzzing at night, are finding it hard to attract customers in the middle of the day.
So I am pleased to report one restaurant on our patch is doing very well. Home SW15 aims to be a home away from home and perhaps that is why it is succeeding where some others are failing. It is a relaxed, neighbourhood, all-day restaurant that has a growing reputation among those who value real, simple, high quality food that tastes like it could have been cooked at home, albeit one owned by a talented chef.
The team behind Home SW15 are Craig Gordon, Freddie Fallon and Fredi Viaud, who met while working at Charlotte’s Bistro in West London. Here they won several accolades, including Chiswick’s Best Loved Local 2015 in Time Out and the Waitrose Readers’ Restaurant of the Year 2015 for London. They opened Home SW15 in 2017 and were awarded the Best Local Restaurant in London by the Good Food Guide 2019. Their track record speaks for itself.
Craig’s business partner is Rebecca Mascarenhas – who owns and runs Sonny’s in Barnes. If you like Sonny’s, you will love Home SW15.
When I visited I took the RiverTribe Vegan Writer Lulu Gibbons, since she likes a meal free from too many additives and preservatives. Her preference is for decent, honest food and is a fan of the kind of décor that could be thought of as resembling a tidy, 6th Form common room. The outside area was her favourite spot – something of a result since it sits so close to the Upper Richmond Road.
Inside, I chose crispy baby squid with anchoiade and lime. I am habitual about ordering this particular dish. It is one of my favourites and this version was perfect. I was literally in food heaven. Lulu chose kale, freekeh, rocket and kohlrabi with cashew and tahini dressing. She declared her choice very tasty but made the worthwhile observation that there could have been more vegan choices on the menu. Consequently, she had to dive into the all-day breakfast menu for Portobello mushrooms on sourdough toast with gremolata. Not a difficult choice. Lulu’s love affair with anything fungus-related is well known and she was happy with her lot. I chose the shrimp burger with sriracha mayo and a side of spinach. Delicious and in all likelihood calorie-laden, but I was prepared to burn off the calories with a bike ride in Richmond Park later on.
Key to the restaurant’s undoubted appeal are the cordials and smoothies. We both had mint coolers. I had a zingy ginger lemonade and Lulu had a tropical lassi, which tasted pure, fresh and unadorned by too much sugar or preservative. In fact, the waiters, Jay, Fredi and Odaine told us the ginger lemonade had been made only hours earlier. All in all, a triumph of simplicity and quality.