This giant bowl of sexy soulfood was surf-n-turf of the tantric variety; exuding a rich depth of flavour that denotes a serious passion for food from MasterChef Tim Anderson
As gift giving season gets ready to explode, in line with the proliferation of Christmas adverts that make us laugh (Lidl) and cringe in equal meausre, eating out in November tends to leave a guilty aftertaste that lingers longer than previous months. Yet, ever crafty, I’ve recently stumbled across a new ‘get out of guilt’ rationale: exchange of funds for food is allowed only if the meal is one that I couldn’t have cooked myself. Crafty I know, considering these culinary skills stretch little beyond the boiled egg.
Recently, this newly adopted rationale was applied to the latest restaurant to grace the increasingly trendy Coldharbour Lane. Roughly translated as Southern Barbarian, Ramen and Izakaya are the main players on Nanban’s menu; one that seems both exotic and intriguing for those uninitiated in this pan-Asian style of cuisine. Ranging from the southern territory of deep-fried chicken thighs to the realm of soulful broths topped with tea-pickled eggs there isn’t anything that won’t tickle adventurous tastebuds. However, the Dead Ringer Chanpon, featuring Fujian noodles in a ménage à trois style broth involving pork, chicken and squid with stir-fried shellfish, vegetables and seafood sawdust was just too alluring to resist. And I mean no derision when I say this giant bowl of sexy soulfood was surf-n-turf of the tantric variety; exuding a rich depth of flavour that denotes a serious passion for food from MasterChef Tim Anderson.
For those not wanting to go as big as the Big options, the smaller dishes are perhaps less intimidating than their boistrorous-brothy-brothers. The Brixton Market Salad proved to be a satisfying bowl of crunchy beans slathered in satay sauce, partnering well with the vinegar-cured flavor of the Mackarel-Kae. Whilst the contrasting texture and cleansing nature of the Grapefruit Schichimi Salad – brown rice scattered over juicy tart grapefruit – extinguished the last embers of my eating out guilt.
In fact, thanks to Anderson’s menu being so vastly superior to anything I could ever conceive of, let alone concoct myself, combined by a ravenous love of Ramen, there’s a high chance I’ll be applying my ‘get our of guilt’ rationale to a second Nanban sitting before the month is out.
Nanban | 426 Coldharbour Ln, London SW9 8LF | 020 7346 0098 | www.nanban.co.uk