The Streatham Gourmet visits Hood
By: Rehema Figueiredo
Hood is now three years old and is a firm favourite in Streatham, with a reputation for great modern British cuisine using the finest seasonal produce.
Nothing is done by halves at Hood, so we followed suit and began with aperitifs of Peckham gin and tonic and Negroni, accompanied by a generous bowl of juicy green olives and candied nuts (all together, £21). An exceptionally polite and attentive waiter helped us navigate “specials” and the less familiar parts of the menu (cimi di rapa?), but never hurried us. He explained they had a glut of truffles in the kitchen, so all dishes were offered with a topping of truffle shavings, which was both a luxurious surprise and very endearing.
I started with a ridiculously creamy cauliflower soup, and its lovely buttery texture slipped delightfully off my spoon. My partner chose a pumpkin macaroni cheese from the specials menu, and it tasted of autumn; a bowl of spiced comfort and warmth that wasn't over-filling. Starters are around £8.
My main course was herb roasted Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac puree, kale, pickled girolles and truffle dressing - an interesting combination of textures and a deliciously earthy flavour. A side of greens loaded with cumin added a kick. My companion ordered a winning special again, pan fried bream with brown crab, mascarpone, spelt risotto and that cimi di rapa (a lot like kale). The fish was delicate and flaky with perfectly crisped skin, and the risotto had absorbed the flavours of the fish wonderfully. (Main courses £9-£19).
To accompany the dinner, we chose a citrusy Portuguese Vinho Verde with a slight fizz, which complemented both dishes well. The wine list is interesting and extensive, and there is a good selection by the glass and carafe as well as by bottle. (House white and red are £20 a bottle).
After a short breather, we ploughed into dessert (ranging in price between £2.50-£9). I was presented with a delicate panacotta with a perfect wobble, accompanied by juicy figs, a drizzle of honey and slim almond biscotti, which had the crunchy snap to delight Prue Leith. Our other dessert was a rich peanut butter parfait with dark chocolate mousse and a dark chocolate wafer, decorated elegantly with drizzled salted caramel and candied peanuts.
At Hood the food is exceptionally good, the atmosphere is relaxed, and a range of special offers make it affordable for most pockets. There’s a two course bottomless brunch for £30, Thursday pie night (pie and a drink for £14), and a pre-theatre 25% off for Streatham Space Project ticket holders - see all the specials at www.hoodrestaurants.com. Dinner was set to a relaxed soundtrack of David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac, and the service was knowledgeable, and friendly, and warm. A memorable meal – Hood deserves its top Streatham restaurant accolade – and they’re taking bookings for Christmas, so get in there quick!
Hood, 67 Streatham Hill, SW2 4TX, 020 3601 3320