Reviewed by Natalie Sackett
We visited Harrison’s Bar and Brasserie in Balham on Thursday 14 March 2013. Located on Bedford Hill since 2007, Harrison’s is run by Sam Harrison and is co-owned by Rick Steinand Rebecca Mascarenhas.
Harrison’s has been recently refurbished and re-launched in February with the addition of a cocktail bar ‘Downstairs at Harrison’s’, a private dining area and a new menu courtesy of Head Chef Ian Leckie. Beautifully decorated the bar and restaurant are in separate areas with a large open kitchen in the dining area so that you can watch your food being prepared.
The drinks menu is extensive and reasonably priced for soft drinks, alcohol, cocktails (nonalcoholic varieties are also available) and the food menu includes a featured wine.
The dinner menu is full and varied. Starters include Crab Trifle, ½ pint of prawns in Marie Rose Sauce and Lamb belly Fritters with Pumpkin Puree and Salsa Verde. We opted for the Chicken Liver Parfait served with toasted Sourdough and Red Onion Marmalade and Buratta with Clementine and Honey Glazed Almonds. Both were beautifully presented with the Chicken Liver Parfait served on a slate and both starters were of generous proportions and full of flavor. I was especially impressed with the Burette, Clementines and Almonds which I worried would be too sweet for a starter but all of the flavours were balanced well.
The main courses on offer are just as varied as the starters withamongst others Elwy Lamb Shoulder Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Schnitzel, Ricotta, Wild Mushroom & Spinach Pithivier, Goan Fish Curry, and steaks to whet any appetite. We chose the Welsh Rarebit Pork Chop with Braised Red Cabbage and Caramelised Apples and one of the specials on the menu of Cod on a bed of Leeks with Clams. Both meals were again presented well. The pork chop was succulent and juicy and went well with its accompaniments. The cod was cooked to perfection and on a bed of leeks surrounded by clams it was a nice warming dish without being too heavy.
When you are sitting and watching the chef prepare the orders in the open kitchen you get to see what others have ordered and the Cheese Burger appeared to be a very popular choice amongst dinners. Packed high and served with a portion of chips you could see why this was such a popular dish! The Ely Lamb Shoulder Shepard’s Pie also looked like a good choice.
Lemon Curd Tart served with Clotted Cream, Bailys Crème Brule, and various ice creams formed the desert menu. However there was only one choice for me. Chocolate Fondant with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. I was not disappointed as it looked and tasted wonderful. We also ordered the Apple Crumble served with ice cream. This was also delicious and good finish to a great meal.
Harrison’s also offer a breakfast, lunch and a children’s menu throughout the day. It is perfect for both drinks after work or dinner (followed by cocktails!) with friends. It is also easily accessible due to its near proximity to an over ground train station and London Underground Station (Balham is on the Northern Line).
I would highly recommend this bar and brasserie. It is ideal for all occasions, with a relaxed atmosphere and impeccable service it really is an asset to Balham and the team behind it.
For more information, to view menus or book a table visit Harrision's here.