A few years ago when I lived in Putney, I always felt that although the area is fantastic, the transport links couldn’t be better, the shopping is varied and the Council Tax even better, it was always lacking a few decent (non-chain) restaurants. I had a very average meal in Enoteca Turi, and one can’t go to Emile’s all the time. So you can imagine my delight when running along Putney High Street through the pouring rain on Friday evening I spotted Moomba. Just off the high street, this not so little gem of a restaurant is the absolute best place to go for breakfast in Putney – I had no idea (until Friday) that it was open for dinner.
I slopped in, hoping desperately that they would have a table available and was rather disappointed to see they had lots of tables! They couldn’t have been more helpful, my heavy overnight bag was stored away and menus left while i set about waiting for Le Boyfriend. The restaurant has been tastefully, if a little loudly decorated. It does remind me slightly of a room transformed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen in episode of Changing Rooms, but it’s still comfortable.
To start with we shared the Moomba Mezze Charcuterie Platter; pita bread with 2 types of humus, some sun-blushed tomatoes, parma ham, olives and some (f)artichoke hearts. I’m not sure why, but i was impressed that all the dips were homemade, I think that we have grown too used to restaurant cutting corners on things like this, the bought stuff is always 100% perfect each time so they lessen the likelihood of having a complaint or getting it wrong.
Out mains, were also extremely good, Le Boyfriend had a grilled Moomburger with Roquefort and fat chips. Here’s the part where I wish i wasn’t so blooming british – I haven’t got a photo because i didn’t want to feel like a tit taking pictures of my food and drawing attention to myself the flash… The pictures above I’ve nicked off their website! The burger arrived on a chopping board, it was speared with a 12-inch kebab stick and served with about 7 fat chips – they were pretty fat – Pont Neuf Chips to those of us that are in the trade don’t-cha-know. The burger tasted lovely and was cooked perfectly; a little pink in the middle. There was the small problem of the sheet of greaseproof paper underneath which began to disintegrate so that most of it, i believe went down the hatch with the burger, we also found that, although it tasted great, the burger just hadn’t been bound together before cooking as it all just fell apart once the first mouthful had been had. Taste – great. Appearance – great. Pre-thought – must try harder. Maybe half an egg yolk to bind it and if you must put something between the burger and the board, something that won’t disintegrate!
I went for a fishy option and had the pan fried red mullet wrapped in parma ham, samphire, lemon beurre blanc with a side order of chips. I’ve never eaten Red Mullet – I like it. But…. and it’s a big one – the whole dish was way too salty; now i love my food salty but wrapping a saltwater fish in parma ham (cured meat ergo salty), serving it with samphire that grows on the coast and is really salty and serving it with a well-seasoned beurre blanc was just too much for me. It didn’t stop me finishing the whole thing, I must confess… But if I was serving that dish I would serve it on a bed of spinach or even courgette shavings.
No pud, straight to bed.
What i loved in particular about this dinner was the fact that even though the food wasn’t perfect, we didn’t need to brace ourselves for the arrival of the bill. Starters ranging from £4.50 to around £11 and mains from around £11 to £21 for a steak, this dinner wasn’t going to break the bank and there was no need to go into the centre of town. The ideas on the menu were all full of promise, if they could be executed with a little more testing behind the scenes this would be an even better place.
I would highly recommend Moomba to anyone needing dinner in Putney….