We head down to a new spot in Battersea that is nothing less than theatrical. Eclectic combinations of food + a worthy drinks menu + a highly talented man named Toby singing Arias on table-tops = the craziness that is TWID (‘That’s what I do’). We recommend it.
French inspired sharing plates – including a range of vegetarian & vegan / raw vegan / organic
In A Sentence:
Those looking to take their evening celebrations for a slightly formal (yet still unusual) occasion – in this case, a small-scale cosy opera house/restaurant combo, that serves quality sharing plates of delicious food & desserts, and a wide selection of drinks.
Those looking to make a point/impact purely via an unconventional dining experience (decor, experience and to some extent, menu). We’ve been reviewing restaurants for a long time now and we’ve rarely had such a theatrical and memorable dinner. Anyone who ever wanted to watch a man sing arias and Mussorgsky off of a tabletop whilst you drink fine French wine? Now you can.
Who or what is TWID?
A live music bar and restaurant in the heart of Battersea, which offers great quality food and drink, plus live opera (yes, opera) and entertainment.
The food menu is full of sharing dishes, and includes some flavoursome vegetarian and vegan options, as well as raw vegan organic desserts made in-house by their Master Patissier each day. These desserts really are great, as we’ll go onto later.
The drinks menu features classy, classical & classic wines, liqueurs & spirits, as well as a selection of cocktails and craft beers.
Live entertainment is held 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday, featuring mainly live opera, but also the occasional DJ slot (we presume the DJ plays things other than opera…). I think at one point the plan was ‘live opera’ every day, but I’m not entirely sure they’ll be able to pull that off.
Upon arrival, I am welcomed in by the steward / Maitre D’, and stepping into this place is like walking into the restaurant version of the Tardis from Doctor Who. It’s a teeny tiny opera house, with the stage in front of you surrounded by exquisite balconies. It’s relatively small for what it is, but considering where it’s situated, you would never think somewhere like this existed in Battersea. Actually, where would you look for a place like this in London? I have no idea…
Due to it being quite a new restaurant, it had that vintage theatre feel to it where small areas hadn’t quite been finished restored – I quite liked this about it. It reminded me of the old Safari Cinema in West Croydon, which too had a similar feel (the we’ll ‘complete the ceiling next week’ vibes).
The Entertainment (…and it IS entertaining)
On this particular evening we are treated to the musical legend that is Toby, who performs one man, live opera Monday & Friday evenings. Toby is an accomplished opera singer, highly eccentric and enthusiastically interactive with the audience, a truly passionate performer and a shining example of his craft! YES
I have heard from opera fans and people in the opera world that the art is falling out of favour. Places like TWID are doing their part to keep the tradition alive, though I’m not sure what the next generation of humans are going to give opera the time of day, which makes us a little sad.
The Food and Drink
I’ve tried a fair few raw vegan restaurants over the years, however these dishes are quite a stand out. Between the quinoa -stuffed mushrooms, kimchi and sushi terpine, the variety and combination of the ingredients were so powerful in flavour, some of the foods somehow take me back to some old childhood memories – I have no idea why this is, it could have been from a busy day and fasting, or the wine kicking in – or both. Probably both
The non-vegan dishes are just as rich and flavoursome, from the scallops, salmon tartare, lamb cutlets and venison medallions, they’re all sized well enough to achieve satisfaction and still get around to the rest of the table. They might be nibbles, but you will leave full, and in our case, quite sloshed. But happily sloshed, the right amount. We choose a Domaine Pierre Blanche – a stand-out white wine. It is smooth, sweet and refreshing.
Lamb Cutlets Heritage Beets, Parsnip £10.5
Intensely flavoursome lamb, though the portion is stingy for the price.
Raw Vegan Sushi Terrine Nori, Miso, Avocado, Organic Soy Sauce £7
If we’re honest I prefer ‘conventional’ sushi (when it’s done properly) but this is still quite delicious. The slight dryness of the sushi rolls is offset by the creaminess of the avocado.
Aubergine, Goats Cheese, Walnuts £6
The aubergine is intensely flavoured with goats cheese. A little goes a long way when served alongside other, less agressive dishes.
Scallops, Kale, Raspberries, Hazelnuts £12.5
Perfectly prepared firm scallops. Served with raspberry and basil, what appears to be a tenuous combination is actually delicious and amazing. The salty, crispy fried kale provides a little crunch and a lot of variety.
I strongly believe that you can’t go wrong with raw vegan organic desserts, (provided they’re done properly, and these ones are!)
Carrot Cake £5.5
The salted caramel and carrot cake – the taste and texture of the carrot cake is supremely raw and filling, just the way I like it.
Chocolate Cake £5.5
Everything you want in a raw chocolate cake. Dense, bittersweet, and with the somewhat orthorexic self-assurance that no sugar, raw cocoa can provide. Jokes aside, this is satisfying and finishes the meal in a way that a ‘conventional’ dessert does not.
This restaurant ticked all the boxes, but is quite a stand out over all in terms of service, atmosphere, food and especially entertainment. You don’t come across places like this all too often, making TWID absolutely worth the trip whether you’re in the area or not!
We’d love to come back here just for beers and some drinks, and see what it’s like now that it’s had a few months to get some traction and attraction.
You really should visit TWID, there’s nowhere else quite like it London (…yet) – and this we are sure of. Look out for Toby!
228 York Road, Battersea, SW11 3SJ
0207 223 2125