While London is known for many things, unless you have a hundred pounds spare to drop at a fancy restaurant it’s not known for tasty and affordable culinary experiences. As we get to known London a bit more we’re starting to find a few hidden gems dotted around the place, but if there’s one thing we miss about Australia (other than the weather and beaches) it’s definitely the food.
When we first heard about Scarlett Green, we were more than a little excited and drooling over the online menu. Part of the Daisy Green collection of restaurants, they focus on bringing Australian coffee, brunch and food to the London scene.
The space is airy, vibrant and filled with plenty of greenery, photos of gorgeous beaches and brightly coloured deck chairs out the front, nailing the Australian aesthetic perfectly. On the cocktail menu you’ll find classics drinks like the Aperol Spritz and Bellini mixed in with very Melbournesque creations like Timmy’s Margarita, made with avocado, agave, mescal, almond milk and lime.
The food encompasses the modern Australian ethos perfectly, using fresh, worldly ingredients lightly seasoned and tenderly cooked. Set out in the format of bites, small plates, BBQ and sides, it’s recommended you three to four small dishes per person, decreasing that if you order from the larger BBQ section.
The first thing that caught our eye on the menu was the vegemite, cheese and truffle donut (!!!). Rich in flavour with a dense, moreish texture, these little dough balls packed a real Aussie flavour punch, served on a plate dusted with grated cheese.
We’re not the type of girls to see haloumi fries on the menu and not order them, so next up was a tiered serving of these. Crumbed in herbs and spices on the outside but gorgeously gooey on the inside, these fried cheese sticks came drizzled with pomegranate yoghurt, fresh pomegranate seeds and garnished with fresh mint.
A sea bream ceviche came marinated in tigers milk and citrus, with crunchy, nutty corn, sweet potato and coriander. The tartness of the acidic citrus was soothed by the sweetness of the potato and soft fish, finished off with a hint of chilli heat that left our mouths tingling and warm.
There’s not much more Aussie than chucking some shrimp on the barbie, so we simply had to try the hot Bondi prawns in Secret Scarlett sauce. These prawns were bigger and fresher than any we’ve had in London so far, and generously slathered in rosy herbs and spices. Despite the name they weren’t actually super hot, making them quite approachable for most people who can handle a touch of spiciness.
Last but not least, no Aussie feast is complete without a quality chunk of meat. Seared rare and lightly seasoned with crisp rock salt flakes, Scarlett’s Sirloin simply pulled apart and melted in our mouths. An English grass fed steak, 220g and aged twenty days, this gorgeous piece of meat was simply served with some mild chimichurri, creating a dish that was a treat to eat.
Though we were absolutely stuffed to the brim, our lovely waiter Andy insisted that we try the Melbourne Mars Bar cheesecake ball. His service was charming and attentive throughout the evening, and his recommendation for dessert was the perfect thing to finish off our meal. A rich chocolate ball was filled with a gooey caramel cheesecake, a super sweet and decadent choice that we think is best shared between two. We could resist sampling the yoghurt pavlova too, which we thought was a beautiful contrast to the cheesecake, wonderfully fresh with a scattering of rhubarb and cashews atop a pillowy meringue base.
For those Londoners who have yet to indulge in modern Australian cuisine, or fellow Aussies who are missing the fresh flavour palettes from home, we’d highly recommend popping into Scarlett Green for a visit. As well as dinner and drinks, they also serve brunch and lunch, and staples like smashed avocado, smoked salmon and coconut French toast can be found on the menu.