From the weekend street markets that line up along Maltby Street Market to the plethora of recent restaurant openings residing under Hackney’s railway arches, London appears to be making clever use of the space provided under these arches. Over the recent bank holiday weekend, we checked out Counter Vauxhall Arches, which is literally next to the national rail station under – you guessed it! – a railway arch. Not only does the location make it a great place for commuters to grab some food and drink, but given how quickly the areas of Battersea and Nine Elms are being developed, Counter Vauxhall also provides newer residents a place to tuck into some top-notch cooking.
The Interior of Counter Vauxhall Arches
Despite the unassuming street entrance, the interior of Counter Vauxhall stretches to 200ft and includes 2 bars and 2 restaurants. Counter Termini Bar & Pizzeria is located on one end and is a more casual affair, while Counter Vauxhall Bar & Brasserie where we dined at, exuded a New York City vibe with French influences and is a more formal affair (the darker lighting contrasting with the abundance of light in the pizzeria).
The inside of Counter Vauxhall Arches Bar & Brasserie is lined with ultra-comfy pale gray booths and mirrors on one side, with a more traditional setup on the other.
We chose to sit in one of the booths and as we relaxed to the sound of soft lounge music playing in the background, we ordered two ice cold drinks. Frank & Sons Raspberry and Strawberry for me and Dandelion and Burdock for Mr. O; perfect for quenching our thirst on what was an exceptionally hot and humid day in London.
The Food at Counter Vauxhall Arches
After deliberating over the menu (there’s plenty to choose from!) at Counter Vauxhall and considering some of the waitress’s recommendations, we dived in with our choices for the evening.
I went for the Moules Marinere starter followed by a whole grilled lobster with garlic butter and chives for mains. Very much a fan of seafood as you can clearly tell from those choices! Mr. O went for a starter of burrata with baby aubergine caviar and a generous piece of rib eye steak for mains.
The starters tasted divine. It was a mini-adventure working through the Moules Marinere and quite thoughtful of the chef to top the dish with two slices of sourdough bread to dip and soak it in the delicious broth hidden underneath all those shells.
The burrata dish was perfectly complemented by the smooth, paste-like baby aubergine caviar. Bringing the two together ensured each mouthful was packed with flavour.
The mains of lobster and steak provided us with a bit of a surf-and-turf experience as we shared each of our plates. Soaked in melted chive butter, the grilled lobster hit the spot while the medium-rare cooked rib eye steak provided a challenge for us to finish.
How Mr. O scraped that plate clean still surprises me! These were served with some salad, mac and cheese, and two portions of chips. And I’ve got to say, the chips were seriously addictive.
Just as we were about to pass on dessert, we spotted chocolate fondant on the menu with a scoop of pistachio ice cream. And in that instant, it was time to make room for this devishily tempting dessert. The only complaint given we shared desserts, was that maybe we should have ordered two!
Counter Vauxhall Arches is a smart addition to the Vauxhall area with beautifully presented food, warm service from and refreshingly good cocktails and drinks to top it all off.
Thanks to Counter Vauxhall Arches for collaborating with me on this post, my opinion as always will be my own.