Antipodea, the self-styled “Aussie brasserie” (definition unknown) from the people behind south London’s popular Brew Cafe mini chain (including *this* guy!) is to open a new, sprawling venue in Richmond this December. The 50-seater venue will feature produce sourced from a network of growers and farmers the Brew team have cultivated over their ten years in operation, augmented by an in-house butcher and a herb garden tended to by head gardener David Page.
“Modern Australian” cuisine is a term that often gets bandied about — presumably to tap into the sort of pseudo-exotica of antipodean food culture that leads to those interminable conversations about how there’s just no good coffee in London like there is in Melbourne — but it’s something notoriously difficult to define, mostly because it doesn’t really exist. At best, it’s a sort of laid-back bistronomy-style cuisine that blurs the lines that define what can be eaten at what time of day and in what kind of setting; at worst it’s the same as everything else just with fancier ingredients.
Antipodea menus read like a bit of both: Korean wood roasted chicken with kimchi and gochujang pepper ketchup — cooked in the wood-fired oven that will also serve a range of pizzas — sounds like great casual drinking food with a twist, while “AFC Fried Chicken”, which is served with sriracha mayonnaise and hand cut slaw, is identifiable as Antipodean only by the inclusion of the “A” in it’s name, and otherwise sounds like the same sort of (admittedly delicious) fried chicken that’s available in restaurants and street-food carts all around London.
Brunch, of course, has been officially recognised as The Greatest Thing To Come From Australia (and Maybe New Zealand), and Antipodea promise to deliver “more than just avocado on toast” — though that ubiquitous breakfast is of course present — with classic antipodean brunch favourites featuring heavily. Sweetcorn fritters with avocado, tomato jam and lime aioli are joined by Turkish poached eggs with hung yoghurt, hot chilli butter and toasted pide, and the notable addition of “folded” eggs — the loose goodness that’s somewhere this side of an omelette and is really just scrambled eggs that haven’t been cooked to death. Definitely the sort of thing someone could “f*****g eat for breakfast.”