Review: Forbidden Temple, Battersea
Forbidden Temple, in Queenstown Road, Battersea, is a stones-throw away from the hustle and bustle of bars in Clapham and is somewhat of a hidden gem.
To walk past the bar you wouldn’t necessarily think it is a place for dining-out but was more of a clubbers venue, with its darkly lit interior and evening events.
But the owners have created an Eastern inspired menu with a host of mouth-watering dishes, which all wash down very well with the speciality cocktails on offer.
On arrival we are greeted by friendly bar manager Mateo Delgado, who with one glance at us knows the kind of cocktails we would enjoy. Before eating I’m served a French Martini, priced at £6.50 and is a delicious combination of raspberry, pineapple liqueur and vodka. Mateo tells me it is one of the most popular drinks, particularly with female customers.
After the cocktail I’m ready to eat and order a meat sharer platter to enjoy with my guest. The platter is priced at £7.75 and comes with delicately presented portions of meat samosas, duck spring rolls and pork won tons served with soy and chilli sauce. The spicy meat samosas might blow your socks off, but they are a refreshing change from the usually overly greasy sort you get in takeaways.
Feeling like I need to blend in with the classy surroundings, I go for champagne based cocktail kir royal (£7.50) which is a mixture of bubbles and blackcurrant liquor served in a tall champagne flute.
My main of thai red fish curry arrives next. The aromatic dish costs £11.95 and is a white fish fillet, with bamboo shoots, lime leaves carrots and bean sprouts, served with rice. The portions are hefty but the coconut based sauce is so moreish I manage to finish the whole plate. My guest choses a five spice pork stir fry (£11.95) which is well presented and full of flavour.
Mateo recommends another cocktail, so I thought it would be a shame to not try a classic mojito. But like the vibe of the bar, it is given a modern twist and served with elderflower costing £6.50. The taste is not as bitter as your usual mojito, suited to my sweet tooth.
Deserts continue with the exotic theme. We order a banoffee tart (£4.95) and caramelised banana pancakes (£4.95) which are both served with vanilla ice-cream. The buttery biscuit base on the tart would have done Greg Wallace proud - just the right crunchy texture, while the pancakes are perfect for a sweet-tooth.
Forbidden Temple is definitely worthy of an early evening visit instead of just a late night party venue, and they get top marks for managing to combine far Eastern recipes with classic cocktails.
Forbidden Temple, Queenstown Road, Battersea, call 020 7720 5446 or visit forbiddentemple.co.uk