I have studiously avoided any mentions of the word Brexit in my restaurant reviews, but if there are any winners to come out of this mind-boggling process, surely Nutbourne restaurant and the Gladwin Brothers who are the owners, are likely to benefit considerably. The Brothers are some of the brave British entrepreneurs flying the flag for the British produce, winery and restaurant trades. Including Nutbourne, they own three restaurants in London that focus on the best of local seasonal ingredients from Sussex. They also run a vineyard and farm, which the restaurant is named after.
The restaurant has the kind of agricultural and nautical touches that transport you from Central London to the outskirts of West Sussex. Although at times, you may feel like you have travelled just as far to the Battersea location of Nutbourne, as it isn't situated at the most convenient of locations.
The food is so seasonal in that whatever you might be reading about now, will probably be not available by the time of your visit; but you will definitely experience the intricate and innovative cooking styles. If you are in any doubt on the provenance of the food, they helpfully explain that the luscious-tasting BBQ scallops were from Lulworth, the asparagus from Wye Valley. The healthy stone bass ceviche has been on a day boat so that it is literally straight from the sea onto your plate on the very same day and lightly flavoured with dill, pickled rapeseeds and cucumber.
Nutbourne is not afraid of experimenting with textures and unusual matching flavours. In the masala-spiced sardines and octopus dish, the slippery chewiness of the octopus is counterbalanced by the denseness of the sardine and intriguingly spiced with masala, braised fennel, chili salsa and rapeseed emulsion. For the more traditional-minded, there are dishes such as roasted cod, salsify, sea herbs, clams and lemon vinaigrette: a classic dish using the finest sourced ingredients.
For those dreaming of childhood delights, The Shed’s (the Gladwin’s first restaurant) take on the magnum viennetta parfait with caramel and chocolate is a must-order dish. It's delectable, premium, creamy – just like the best of your childhood memories but even more satisfying.
With the tremendous success of their Nutbourne wines and farm produce and the government's push for championing local produce, we can only see the Gladwin Brothers going from strength to strength.
Words by Baldwin Ho