The Fat Delicatessen in Balham, London
February 9th, 2010 by Olivier

The Fat Delicatessen
7 Chestnut Grove
London SW12 8JA

The Fat Delicatessen

The Fat Delicatessen

The Fat Delicatessen is a deli and a restaurant located in Balham next to the tube station. It can feel strange to have people looking at packages of tea or bisdcuits located on shelves against the wall past your table but it didn’t bother us. If you want to have peace, try to go to the tables at the far end of the deli.

Cups of tea

As starters we ordered the winter soup (£4) and the chorizo picante (£3.25). Other interesting snacks I hesitated to chose from were the pork crackling with a glass of Fino Sherry and the hot green padron peppers. As main courses we had the confit belly of pork with creamed rosemary fagioli (£6.95) and a black pudding with caramelised apples (£5.75). They had an interesting dish of snails with chorizo mash (£6.25) but we were not brave enough for that kind of meal… As drinks we had two cups of tea (£3.20) to help us defrost on a cold day first, and a glass of red wine (£4.65). For desserts we chose the fruit crumble (£3.50) and a white chocolate cheesecake (£3.50).

The winter soup

The winter soup was quite good. It arrived piping hot, served with some fresh wholegrain bread that had a nice nutty flavour. The soup itself was a thick mix of a range of winter vegetables. The only things missing were some butter for the bread, and possibly some salt and pepper in case you wanted to season the soup (though it was fine as it came). Soup like this is great comfort food for winter weather.

Chorizo picante

The chorizo picante came very hot and was good but just too much for one person. The grease got me pretty quickly because of the amount of chorizo. On a small portion, it is a nice meal.

The two main courses

The two main courses

The pork belly

The pork belly was very good. A nice thick slice of pork belly, with nicely crisp crackling and accompanied by some haricot beans in a creamy sauce. The pork here is amongst the best I’ve had in London, rivaling the Ship Tavern (and miles ahead of the nasty thing I once had at Terroirs). Certainly worth trying if you’re in the area.

Black pudding with caramelised apples

The black pudding with caramelised apples was huge. It is actually about the same portion they are selling in the deli area. The taste was good, a little on the strong and too rich side but well counter balanced by the full bodied red wine fortunately. Not bad at all (I even ordered some of it after the lunch for cooking at home!) but after the chorizo it was a little too much.

Fruit crumble

The fruit crumble wasn’t quite up to the same standard as the starter and main courses. In its favour is that it was clearly oven heated to order. The downside is that it needed another few minutes, as it wasn’t quite warm all the way through. The fruit was mainly plums, which were very good. But I found the topping, the crumble, just too sweet. This was just brown sugar – but would have been much better if mixed with flour and butter which, aside from making it more crumbly, would have reduced the sweetness to manageable levels. With that small addition, it would have been an excellent dessert.

White chocolate cheesecake

The white chocolate cheesecake was massive, once again, and unfortunately too sweet. A quarter of it with some strong tea or coffee would have been fine but not in that amount. Also, some sour red fruit coulis would have been welcome.

Cost and conclusion: it was £34.80 which was well priced, and the service was friendly and extremely polite. We would gladly recommended it. Just beware of the huge portions!

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2 Responses  
  • Jonathan writes:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 14:00

    I’m a fan of this place too. But don’t visit nearly often enough. That pork belly looks sinfully good.

  • Aba writes:
    March 15th, 2010 at 20:02

    I took my daughter and 9-month old grand-daughter to the Fat Deli on Saturday – lovely ambience, food and friendly staff. However, when it came to paying the bill I found out that two different eat-in prices had been displayed for the same cake The owner was extremely surly when he very reluctantly reduced the bill by the difference. However, I’m not sure if that is the reason or if it is that he is just baby-unfriendly: My daughter asked for a cup of hot water so that she could rinse the baby’s spoon before feeding her and we were charged 8p. That has never happened anywhere else we have visited. Also, there is only one high chair.

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