We hear The Yellow House has closed since we posted this article! It’s a real shame and we’re very disappointed, but nevertheless we look forward to visiting whatever pops up in its place.
Situated in an old brick building on the corner of a busy road just across from Surrey Quays station, The Yellow House may not look like much from the outside, but if you choose to venture in for dinner you stand to be richly rewarded. And such rewards as my dining partner and I enjoyed made The Yellow House a prime candidate for my next restaurant review.
My dining partner and I decided to skip starters, but we did share a dish of brilliantly succulent marinated olives while we waited for our mains. While my dining partner was tempted by the excellent Friday special of Hoegaarden battered fish with chunky chips and mushy peas, I chose to stick with what the Yellow House is better known for – pizza. The pizza menu is broad, and offers a number of rather inventive combinations. My choice, of roast butternut squash, rosemary, mascarpone, tomato and mozzarella was far from traditional, but the flavours worked well together and the result was quite simply delightful. The pizza’s base was thin and crisp, with just enough substance to withstand the weight of the generous toppings without feeling heavy or bread-like. The butternut squash was meltingly soft and almost sweet when contrasted with the herby taste of the rosemary, which was strong but not overpowering. The creamy mascarpone added great depth of texture and brought a delicious richness to the dish.
For dessert, I couldn’t resist the home-baked cheesecake with raspberries. I’m glad I succumbed to temptation, as the toweringly large piece of cake I was presented with was sumptuously creamy, with a delicate hint of vanilla and a biscuit base that retained a touch of granularity. The tartness of the raspberries (pureed rather than fresh, but then this is hardly raspberry season) cut through the richness of the cheesecake perfectly, making it easy for me to polish off the entire piece. My dining partner’s pecan chocolate brownie was vanilla ice-cream was also a hit, the brownie wonderfully gooey and shot through with generous chunks of dark chocolate and pecan. The only thing that could have improved it would have been to serve the brownie warm.
The wine list is keenly priced and offers a large selection of reds and whites, incorporating both old and new world choices, with a few options in each colour available in a 50cl carafe. My dining partner and I shared a carafe of the Calbuco Cabernet Merlot, a classic Chilean blend which was rich and smooth with notes of plum and cassis, and supple tannins making it very easy drinking.
The Yellow House’s interior is well presented, with dark wood floors and sleek, modern furnishings, and an inspiring open kitchen that fronts right on to the dining room. The service made an impression from the outset: as we were seated, our waiter lit the candle for our table, and between courses he carefully swept away the crumbs we had left behind. You certainly don’t come across such impeccable attention to detail in a small, neighbourhood restaurant every day. If I wanted to criticise, I’d venture that such flourishes did feel a touch out of place given the otherwise relaxed atmosphere, and while staff remained friendly and engaging throughout, the service did slip ever so slightly when the restaurant got busy later in the evening. But with such quality food and a bill that came in at around £26 per head including tip, The Yellow House was pretty good value – it would certainly be one of my regular haunts if I lived in the area. Overall score? A positive four Forks-Up.The Yellow House Bar & Kitchen 126 Lower Road Surrey Quays London SE16 2UE http://www.theyellowhouse.eu/