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Review: Sollip, London Bridge

Gamtae sandwich

Gamtae sandwich

I eat out a lot. It’s sad but true, I can go to a lovely restaurant and enjoy an eight course £80 tasting menu and some top-notch wine over a whole evening, and a week later I couldn’t tell you more than two of the dishes I had without getting my phone out to look for photos. Couple of weeks after that and I might not be able to remember one. Sometimes the occasion is memorable but not the food. So… is that a bad meal? It certainly wasn’t a memorable meal.

So dinner at Sollip made me very happy. Daikon tarte tatin? Fig leaf creme brulee? Fermented soy bean gougeres? Not only were these dishes eye-catchingly original on the menu, each was beautiful to look at and delivered exactly what it promised.

Daikon tarte tatin

Daikon tarte tatin

The style at Sollip is calming pared-back simplicity. This carries through from the neutral earth decor to the simple handware crockery and the spartan plating. But the flavours of the dishes, though clean and clear, are definitely full of bold colour.

Take the daikon tarte tatin. It turns out that robust brassica notes with a sticky-sweet glaze work incredibly well, especially on top of a thin base of crispy nutty brown pastry. And it also turns out that an elegant smooth cream of potato and chive makes a great relish for this.

And a piece of sturdy white john dory is a powerful enough fish to emerge through a warming pale beef broth and a strong hit of smokey timiz peppercorn. There’s also a tiny little toasted finger sandwich of caerphilly cheese and gamtae, which turns out to be a feathery green seaweed with a strong herbal/salty/umami flavour that works wonders with the slightly melted cheese. Oh and a powerfully spicy beef tartare with a face-warming fizz of Korean chilli mixed through it.

Fig leaf creme brulee

Fig leaf creme brulee

The fig leaf creme brulee, though. Apart from being a beautiful creme brulee, as smooth as silk and just rich enough, this was fundamentally the best fig dish I’ve ever enjoyed. And I love figs. Fig leaf has a tiny bit of a tobacco-y note to it, as well as a slightly herby version of fig flavour. This was crystal clear. And the fig compote at the bottom was sticky and humming with the fresh flavour of good figs. So this is a dish I’m going to remember for years.

I obviously loved Sollip. You’d pay £40 each for three courses and a snack, which is great for the sheer quality of the cuisine. Every dish is spot-on. Fair warning: if you have a hearty appetite, you’ll perhaps leave still a bit peckish. The food is light and the portions delicate. You can always just order more dishes, and I’d certainly recommend that!

Spicy tartare

Spicy tartare

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