The perfect Valentine's spot


A Second Serving reviews Counter in Vauxhall...

When I first visited Counter last May (check out my review in the archives), I had a great time, so expectations were high when I was invited back for a return visit. Just to remind you, the restaurant is an all-day bar and brasserie nestled in a 200ft arch under Vauxhall station. Last time, my only criticism was that the atmosphere was a little lacking (it hadn't been open long) but I'm happy to report it's much improved - I prefer the new, brighter lighting and there's a busier feeling to the place. Once again, service was impeccable and the food was brilliant.

A veal chop main

Why go?

Counter have a special Valentine's menu that they're launching on Feb 14th. Head Chef Mahrez Loukal will be cooking up a delicious three course set menu for £45 – plus a complimentary glass of Rossini to sip on. So if you haven't picked anywhere to take your date yet, consider this place as you won't be disappointed. On our visit, I went for burrata as my starter. If you don't know what burrata is (I did Google to double check) it's fresh Italian cheese made with mozzarella AND cream - aka heaven on a plate. As I sunk the knife in, the creamy bit inside all oozed out... delicious. I kinda wished I'd filmed it on my phone so I could set it to slow-mo and enjoy it all over again. And it really was as tasty as it looked, with some gorgeous olives, sorrel and cress on the side to add a bitter element to the plate.

When my boyfriend saw there was crispy duck on the starter list he of course went straight for that. I have to admit when I saw his plate (below) I was a tad jealous as it was huge, I mean I'd have been happy with that for a main. The duck came with apple, cucumber, chilli, croutons and pomegranate molasses all mixed in a really rich and fruity sauce. Nom nom nom!

For my main course I went for the honey-glazed wild salmon fillet which came with grilled artichokes and dandelion leaves for £18. It wasn't a huge portion but it was a pretty phenomenal piece of fish - really juicy and soft on the inside with this crispy sweet skin on top. I'd normally skip the skin but there was no way I was doing that this time! My boyfriend went for the English veal chop which came with crispy sweetbreads, wilted spinach and sage (pic on top). It didn't stay on his plate for very long so I have to assume it went down well. To finish I had a delicious pistachio brownie. I tried to eat it slowly but struggled because it was so damn good. The gooey sauce was amazing, I just wish there had been a teeny bit more!

My fishy main


We're mac 'n' cheese addicts so ordered some mac 'n' cheese balls as a side (very random I know). To be honest, they were a bit dry and didn't actually taste very cheesy so I'd skip those if you're popping in!


Arch, 50 S Lambeth Pl, London SW8 1SP