Putney has been a bit of a culinary wasteland, with a couple of exceptions – Ma Goa for Indian, for instance. But now it has a restaurant and speakeasy for late-night revellers, as well as those looking for lunch outside the office or for a break from shopping. Here we find the House of Roxy!
Now I had reservations about making a reservation. The name ‘House of Roxy’ conjures a vision of a seedy spot filled with slot machines, perhaps with a corner marked ‘Adults Only’. I knew about the speakeasy and that, I felt sure, would have a solid graffiti-garnished door partnered with a big bouncer with cauliflower-ear and intermittent teeth. The reality, I found to my relief, was a lot different.
Perhaps I should qualify ‘a lot different’. The graffiti was there but it was bespoke, classy and striking. Nobody seems sure how House of Roxy got its name – although it’s said perhaps to be from the Roxy Theatre in California – but it’s a nice romantic notion to believe that the painted lady on the wall might be Roxy, and she welcomes diners to the ground-floor restaurant as well as cocktail-sippers to the basement bar.
The menu here isn’t long but there are plenty of hot lunch choices and a well-crafted tapas selection during the evening. Yes, they do larger plates as well but the small dishes have, it seems, caught the imagination of the evening clientele. The House of Roxy has only been open a few months but a freezing Tuesday didn’t put off diners, who filled the restaurant to near-capacity from 7.30 onwards.
There are some stars on this menu, simple dishes that take advantage of good ingredients: yes, that cauliflower puts in an appearance but in the form of a purée rather than ears. Pan-fried scallops served with cauliflower purée and a sun-blushed tomato vinaigrette. That shellfish was delicately treated and just introduced to the hotplate rather than taking up residence above the flames.
Grilled lamb cutlets with aioli and rocket salad were a delight – moist and simply seasoned and as tender as I have had in any restaurant.
Grilled asparagus with parmesan shavings is a classic. The spears sported grill marks and that filled me with dread. So often asparagus is tough and fibrous when cooked on the barbecue, but Roxy has employed a deft chef called Angelo Ottis. Those spears were almost buttery in texture, not watery or over-cooked.
The House of Roxy is relatively new and I am sure that their reputation will grow as will their menu. A conveniently located spot for an evening with friends, a few drinks and some light bites.
Monday – Thursday 12 noon till midnight
Friday: 12 noon till 02:30am
Saturday: 5pm till 02:30am
House of Roxy
141 Upper Richmond Road
London SW15 2TX
Phone: 020 8785 9203
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018