Hosting the unusual title of London’s longest restaurant, Counter is a well-presented restaurant with an unusual theme of French-American. The restaurant is next door to Vauxhall station in the rail arches, which provides an atmospheric vintage feeling and it is very well presented, with friendly staff, good service and, of course, excellent food and drink options.
Counter has two bars serving quality cocktails all day, and their wine selection hosts a variety of quality French and interesting American options. They have a lovely selection of local, bottled beers as well as a variety of American lagers. Try the house draught, which is actually imported from Belgium, the perfect lunchtime option, and the Counter beer, which is perfectly refreshing with a crisp, light flavour.
The restaurant is relatively strict with their theme, which allowed for some macaroni and cheese ‘balls’ as a starter. They were beautifully fried to create an interesting display of cheesy goodness with suitable portions and a heavenly dip to collect any remaining pieces.
For a main course, there is a good range of options for every dietary requirement, and the rump steak they produced has to be the best cut of meat in south London. The tender meat was cooked to perfection in a delightfully rich garlic sauce, which was drizzled over the top running between the grooves in the succulent meat. Their side orders were delicious, with a variety of greens and a mouthwatering, buttery portion of sliced potatoes that will complement anything on the menu.
In true American style, the desserts come in generous portions. Their ‘Mississippi mud pie’ is deliciously rich with a creamy texture that melts in the mouth. But make sure you order one to share and grab an extra spoon, or you’ll regret it. The restaurant also offers a simple, good-value lunchtime menu; try the delicious Philly cheesesteak.
Throughout the day, Counter provides a casually sophisticated environment, and by night, the second bar often hosts live entertainment. And on any night, the lovely mellow vibe that echoes down its long length space plus the soft rumbling of the trains overhead really gives the place extra character.
Counter also hosts a variety of events, such as cocktail masterclasses and lively nights with DJs until late, but its greatest asset is its diversity and ability to satisfy a variety of customers from families to couples to parties.
Counter, Arch 50, 7-11 S Lambeth Place, London, UK, +44 20 3693 9600