I love Tooting, and the colourful and lively covered market in its centre is quickly becoming one of my favourite spots. The discovery of this unassuming and delightful steak restaurant in its midst has certainly done nothing but hasten my growing affection for the Tooting Broadway area and i'm here to tell you why.
The Venue and Atmosphere
Tucked away in a far corner of Tooting’s indoor market, Bordelaise is not hugely visible to passers-by, but once you turn down the covered passageways and make your way past the stalls filled with fruit and spices, jewellery and cloth, you will come at last to the red and brown shop-front of Bordelaise. On a blustery March evening, the warm lights and cozy atmosphere were a welcome relief from the weather outside. Inside, the relatively small space helps to create that intimate, cosy vibe that we were hankering for and the dark wood furnishings, crimson walls and café-style curtains echo a small French bistro somewhere in Paris or Bordeaux. Bordelaise may seem informal and something of a hidden venture, but I was about to find out why their steak can go against some of the best in the city.
The Food and Drinks
Bordelaise has a well-curated wine menu with bottles ranging from £16 to £27, with special recommendations for the perfect accompaniment to the steak dishes. We began with a glass of their Vin Mousseux, a delicate French sparkling wine (£6/125ml), followed by their recommendation of the Cabernet Sauvignon (£23/bottle). Both added to the Parisian charm of the venue, whilst promising rich and earthy notes that set up a meal of mainly red meat.
I know there's one thing everyone wants to hear about when it comes to this restaurant, and that's how their steak truly fares. Keeping it simple, Bordelaise present their signature Butler’s Steak (£12) as the go-to steak option on the menu, and they also had a rib-eye on offer that evening (£19). I opted for the Butler’s steak, which did not disappoint. The meat was tender and melt-in-the-mouth, owing to the quality and the perfect cut. We of course went for their signature sauce as well, the bordelaise, which is a rich red wine jus perfectly flavoured with garlic and infused with Provence herbs. The sides were definitely a highlight of the meal and in particular the Caramelised Madeira Shallots (£3.50) were delicious. Combine that with the naughty Beef Dripping French Fries (£3) and, to ease our guilt, the Green Bean, Heritage Tomato & Shallot Salad (£7) and you had a match made in heaven.
Don’t leave without dessert, as their Chocolate Fondant (£5.50) is pure chocolatey goodness. Dribbled with caramel and served with creamy vanilla ice cream, it has a molten chocolate centre that is wonderfully indulgent.
Bordelaise is a perfect date spot and similarly great as a relaxed and friendly setting for dinner with friends and family. The team are friendly and accommodating and will do their best to make you feel right at home. Overall, it was the perfect place to spend a chilled out Sunday evening and I will be definitely be adding it to my little black book of South London hidden gems.