Lucky enough to be invited to SW16 Bar & Kitchen on Streatham High Road near Streatham Hill station, my husband and I strolled along on the first of these warm evenings for a midweek moment, just the two of us (oh so rare in these new Covid-lockdown days).
What greeted us was a wide open and inviting frontage of fully folded back bi-fold doors with tables and locals spilling onto the pavement, giving it a great neighbourhood vibe.
Inside, it's spacious and open, with plenty of wood, eucalyptus in ceramic vases, industrial style ceiling and leather banquettes giving it a relaxed 2021 kind of feel, with an area dedicated to workspace during the day and a lounge space if you're feeling less work, more play. Though busy, tables are well-spaced and the staff were friendly, welcoming and wearing masks.
The supper menu (different from the weekend brunch menu which sounds good for families), is varied and light, with some more hearty freshly-made pasta dishes created by Head Chef Antonio from Puglia.
We opted for four different things to try as much of the menu as possible. I chose the salmon tataki to start which came with a pink grapefruit and fennel salad - delicious. I wasn't so keen on the coffee mustard which accompanied, but that's just a matter of taste (my husband liked it - I rest my case) and the salmon was super-fresh and tasty. My husband opted for the burrata and heritage tomato salad which packed a flavour-filled, creamy, summery punch.
For mains, I couldn't resist the slow cooked lamb ragu with fresh tagliatelle, a good sprinkling of parmesan and a glass of Montepulciano, while my husband chose the Bavette steak salad which was cooked just as he likes it and washed down with a cold Amstel - perfection, apparently.
Not used to eating two courses of a Wednesday night, we shared a light pudding and found the choice easy. I love a griddled pineapple for its freshness and would rarely (ever, to be honest) do this at home. Nor do I have coconut gelato, shards of crunchy biscuit and a scattering of strawberries and basil hanging about in the fridge freezer. It was really, really good. Fresh, crunchy, sweet, zingy and just a little bit caramelised.
As well as food, cocktails are a thing and they do great snacks too including goat cheese croquettes, beetroot dip and truffle and pecorino nuts, so bear this spot in mind for a girls' night. Or lunch. Or morning coffee. Or to do some work. It's busy, buzzy and, dare I say it, even feels like you've gone beyond the SW London bubble to somewhere more central London. Crazy, I know.
SW16 Bar & Kitchen
5 Streatham High Road