I’ve been wanting to write about how fabulous my little town in southwest London is for eating for a while.
Earlsfield, or ‘Earlsvegas’ as some of us locals call it, sits between the famous curry destination of Tooting and what some people may perceive as the posh nosh areas of Clapham and Battersea.
It isn’t a big place but for some reason, and this is just my opinion, it has some really standout restaurants which I have felt for a while need more praise and recognition.
Korean is not a cuisine me and the husband eat that often, not for any real reason, probably more because we don’t come across Korean restaurants as much as others.
But Cah-Chi is a fabulous place with gorgeous food and friendly, if slightly militant staff – they wear ear pieces, but only to manage the crowds!
Unlike Indian or Chinese, Korean food feels lighter and fresher and doesn’t leave you with the heavy, saltiness you often get with the other two.
There is a huge variety of dishes but one of my favourites watching your meat sizzle in front of you on a little heated BBQ plate before wrapping it in delicious crunchy lettuce with soya bean paste and rice.
The restaurant is always full to brimming with people wanting a taste of the Kim-chi or spicy calamari.
We’ve taken everyone we can think of to Cah-Chi; parents, siblings and best friends and I encourage you to do the same.
Another place we love in Earlsvegas (yes, I am going to keep calling it that!) is Mel’s which is always a winner for brunch.
Specialising in ‘Vintage Beats and Breakfast’, it attracts the hobbling hungover masses at the weekends and tends to be a family favourite during the week.
I usually opt for the veggie breakfast with their delicious homemade burger and baked beans and it has cleared the cobwebs every time.
The restaurant has a lovely relaxed atmosphere with fun staff and a cool décor.
It’s not just the food that sets this place apart but also the drinks. Milkshakes, smoothies and cocktails are all on offer, for those needing a detox and others settling in for a session.
Opposite Mel’s is a newcomer to Earlsvegas ; ) – Ben’s Canteen. Ben and Mel, Mel and Ben – they sound like daytime television hosts!
We are familiar with Ben’s work as we were regulars at the first branch in St John’s Hill down the road. It has only opened in the last few weeks and the queue always seems to be spilling out of the doors.
The range of food is great from breakfast burritos and pancakes, to a full English or juicy burger. And, I am desperate to try one of their giant Bloody Marys!
The staff here are young and friendly and really help create a great, relaxed atmosphere. Also, this restaurant might look small from the front but it is cavernous at the back so you’re unlikely to ever have to wait long at brunchtime.
If you’re in the mood for the meat sweats then head to Roxie, previously Fyre, which is a meat-lover’s paradise.
They do all cuts of steak with a delicious variety of sauces – chimchurri is one of our favourites, reminding us of a holiday in Buenos Aires a long time ago.
But there’s also pulled pork, ribs, burgers and surf and turf which all wash down wonderfully with their great selection of wines.
I’m selecting these places because they are the ones we go to most frequently, but there are a few others which I need to mention.
Amaranth is a lovely Thai which does great authentic, reasonably-priced food. It is packed out Monday to Sunday so make sure you book.
Il Girasole is also a brilliant Italian with delicious food, a gregarious owner and generous portions.
And another place that has been hyped up but has only just opened so I haven’t had a chance to try yet is Sylvan Oak, watch this space for a review…