Restaurant Review: Antipodea, Kew

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The beautiful building of the old post office in Kew is now home to a mix of Middle Eastern and Australian cuisine

I kind of didn’t want to like Antipodea. Protective of Kew’s little enclave of Torelli’s café, the Tap on the Line pub, and Kew’s stalwart bistro, Ma Cuisine – the wonderful Michelin starred Glasshouse, can look after itself – Antipodea’s all-encompassing breakfast-lunch-dinner offerings meant they could all be hit.

But I do like it. A lot. And the others seem to be holding their own. I’ve been a few times and the staff are just incredibly welcoming, friendly and, while casual, seem like they’ve been trained to the standard of a top end restaurant rather than a local eatery. The décor is modern, but cosy, although the wicker chairs are a bit cumbersome and the fire pit, while lovely, can get a little hot if you’ve got a seat right next to it.

I went for lunch with a couple of friends, both of whom have done restaurant reviews for me in the past – stretching from Putney, to East Sheen, Barnes, Richmond, Kew and East Twickenham – so it was lovely to eat all together. The menu is large, coming in magazine-sized proportions, with lots of choice, including many delicious vegetarian dishes, many with a Middle Eastern or Australian slant.

I had the woodland mushroom risotto served with spinach, yoghurt, pesto and Gorgonzola (£13.50, pictured). The rice was soft and creamy, with the hit of Gorgonzola adding perfect flavour. Absolutely delicious and a good-sized portion.

Sara went for the Bengali eggplant and tofu salad, with lentils, cavolo nero, pomegranate, roasted cauliflower and cardamom dressing (£13.50). She said the Indian spices really came through, but the portion was small for the price. While she wasn’t blown away by the flavours, I tried it and thought it was even better than my own choice.

Mandy, who had mentioned her own main course at dinner on a previous visit had been disappointingly small, was pleasantly surprised by the size of her prawn guvec – prawns with garlic, pepper, tomato and feta with sourdough toast (£9.50) – which as a starter was pretty substantial (which it should be for the price). Her side of of avocado was a hefty £5.20 for a mashed pear. She enthused about the prawns, which were perfectly cooked and while the tomato sauce was thick and strong the feta calmed down the flavour.

For dessert, we shared a pot of nutty mousse and chocolate ganache with caramalised hazelnut (£4.50) – sublime and somehow enough for three, although I could easily have scoffed the lot on my own.

Antipodea isn’t going to be easy on the wallet, I think once you’ve eaten there, you’ll want to keep going back.

9 Station Approach, Kew TW9 3QB
020 8940 6532
www.antipodea.co.uk

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