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Soif Bistro + Wine Bar Battersea Rise London

A Thirst for Life

To have one great local French restaurant is jolly lucky. To have two is lottery level luck. Sinabro and Soif almost face each other across Battersea Rise. In between is a branch of franglais Côte Brasserie. Round one corner on Northcote Road is the ultimate Parisian bakery Les Merveilleux de Fred. Round the other corner is the French owned Deli Boutique on Webb’s Road. No Parisian neighbourhood is complete without a boulangerie and a lingerie. Battersea fits the City of Light mould. The lacy window displays of Amelie’s Follies can be seen from Deli Boutique.

It’s no coincidence. London is officially the sixth largest French city with a population of some 400,000. That makes it more garlic Gallic than Calais and Lille together. Battersea has a particular concentration due in part to two good local French schools. So, Sinabro is run by husband and wife team Yoann Chevert and Sujin Lee. Soif was opened by business partners Ed Wilson and Oli Barker. They have pedigree: Terroirs wine bar and restaurant in Covent Garden and East Dulwich plus Brawn on Columbia Road. Ed and Oli specialise in organic natural wines and earthy French regional cooking with a hint of fusion. Paris is always a good idea; even more so when it’s in Battersea.

Green asparagus? Slow cooked egg? Brown shrimp? So far so good Soif. Then out of the blue an impromptu orange wine tasting ensues. It would be rude not to plunge in with full gusto. The rather wonderful staff suggest sampling Piquentum Malvazija | Cambridge Road Cloudwater | Occhio di Terra Malvasia. They’re of a year: 2017. Vintage. Best going for all three. When on Battersea Rise in Paris