Lamberts is a little neighbourhood bistro in Balham, serving good quality French food at bargain prices. They do a fantastic Tuesday to Thursday set dinner menu of £17 for 2 courses or £20 for 3. The menu is refreshed weekly and aims to use local and seasonal produce.
I started with a ham hock terrine with piccalilli – this was rustic and hearty; the tart, sharp piccalilli cut through the rich pork, creating a perfectly balanced dish.
For main, I had squash ravioli – something I have made at home many times – but the Lamberts version was vastly superior to my efforts: the pasta had a wonderful yellow hue, was nicely elastic and the perfect thickness so that it retained bite and wasn’t stodgy. The filling was slightly sweet but had been properly seasoned so that it wasn’t sickly. Fried wild mushrooms and sage created an earthy accompaniment to the squash. An extremely well executed dish.
As is often the case with good bistros, the dessert was rather disappointing – we went for a custard tart with nutmeg ice cream: the pasty was soggy, the tart not sufficiently creamy and the ice cream bland.
Verdict: dessert aside, my meal at Lamberts was fantastic – well worth the trip out to zone 3.