Tom Ilic Restaurant
123 Queenstown Rd, London, London, SW8 3RH
- Tel: 020 7622 0555
Sandro Restaurant serves a wide range of Italian dishes and are open for both lunch and supper. They can cater for private parties up to a maximum of 60 people. Seating on the pavement area is provided, weather permitting.
Services and products
- Vegetarian Dishes
Provided by The Local Data Company
13/10/2008 by herb
4 of ate at Tom Ilic on a Sunday. 3 courses for £18.95 = very good value. Presentation of food is superb. 3 of us went for the scallops to start which were beautifully cooked; just a shame there were only two per plate...could have done with more. The rabbit for main course was excellent; those who ate the pork belly said again they could have done with another piece. Lemon tart was both sublime and very light. Thoroughly recommend, though starters and mains could be bigger portionsReport this
15/08/2008 by petrus
I finally had dinner last night with 4 friends at Tom Ilic in Battersea. The restaurant has had consistently good reviews since it opened and only a slightly inconvenient location had kept me away so far. As a fan of all things meaty and offaly so I was looking forward to the experience, particularly the chef's treatment of the cheaper piggy cuts. We all found the menu very appetising and unanimously agreed that we would happily eat it all! Waistlines and budgets precluded this tempting option and we set about the hard task of picking a starter, main and eventually dessert each. I went for the braised pigs cheeks with chorizo on garlic and parsley mash to begin. Around the table others went for tartare of tuna, poached duck egg and leek terrine and picked Cornish crab. We had a bottle of Californian vignoier to accompany the starters, which was beautifully perfumed on the nose and light and clean on the palate. My pigs cheeks were excellent, perched on dollop of richly flavoured, smooth mash and topped with a thin slice of strongly flavoured chorizo plus a strip of crispy crackling. The meat was very tender and fell apart, the chorizo added a smoky, spicy note and the crackling was delicious. The rest of the table seemed very happy with their starters, with particular praise coming for the perfectness of the poached egg and the clean, light flavours of the tuna. I stuck with the unashamedly carnivorous option for the main – fillet of beef, horseradish soufflé, girolles and oxtail raviolo. Other choices were lamb – roasted saddle and braised shoulder, the signature scallops and belly pork and ballotine of rabbit with roasted langoustine. To accompany a bottle of Argentinean Malbec that was full-bodied, smooth and very moreish. One slight hiccup occurred when a waiter began to lay plates down on our table to general oohs and aaahs, but then the plates were whisked away when one of his colleagues realised they were destined for another table! Disappointment all round, but we had another sip of wine and waited for it to be our turn. I have to say the beef was superb, an excellent cut that was very flavoursome. The horseradish soufflé was relatively dense; almost cake like, with the distinctive bite of horseradish shining through. The plump oxtail raviolo was stuffed with tender threads of meat interspersed with carrots and a rich sauce. A red wine reduction and sautéed girolles completed a heavenly dish. The rest of the table seemed very happy with their selections, judging by the silence whilst initially tucking in and the empty plates at the end. We were all pleasantly full by this stage and felt the portion sizes were just right, not too small and not supersize-me-style big. There was a gap before we made our dessert choices, long enough for us to persuade ourselves that a second bottle of Malbec was an excellent idea…. I finished off the evening with the chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream from a dessert list that was full with lots of other desirable choices. When it arrived, it was beautifully presented and on cracking through the top it oozed out a very indulgent thick chocolate sauce. Often with fondants I find they have been slightly overcooked so the cake/sauce ratio is too much in favour of the cake, not so here! The pistachio ice cream was beautiful, almost a mousse in texture and had an exceptional flavour. All in all we had a great time; the staff were efficient and not over-attentive. Tom himself came round the tables at the end and spent a few minutes having a bit of banter. He explained he is trying for a relatively informal style, where the waiters do not try and refill your wine glass every time you take a sip. I for one found that to be a relief and made for an enjoyable meal where the conversation could flow without constant interruption. The only real fault I could find, like others before me, is with the décor and layout, which are not great. But then when the food and wine are this good, who cares? Total cost per head, with service - £56Report this
Not as good as it thinks it is
13/08/2008 by chrisp
It's not that I don't like change per se, I just don't like change for the worse. And as the Food Room was a lovely little restaurant, I was suitably distraught when it closed, then firmly suspicious when it reopened a few days later under a new owner. Identical from the inside and out, with a very similar menu, same waiting staff, same Toptable offer (£23.50 for 3 courses and a glass of sweet Prosecco) and same odd predilection for having several industrial strength heaters blasting away despite the already roasting temperatures, it seemed at first that all had changed was the name above the door. And on our arrival at 7:30pm, we were the only diners in the restaurant, another thoughtful tribute to the old place. So my nerves were well and truly settled by the time the lovely house bread arrived; phew, I thought, it's business as usual in Battersea, my favourite local restaurant never went away, it's just had a facelift. I fully admit I am in the minority in singing the praises of the old Food Room. Many people, amongst them pretty clued-up professional critics and bloggers, didn't think much of the place. I have no idea why - perhaps they just begrudged having to travel across London to this dark and lonely spot on the Queenstown Road and lost their appetite. All I know is, they were wrong. The Food Room was great, and should have carried on for ever, empty night after night unless I decided to grace them with my custom. Sadly, it wasn't to be. Damn you, market forces. So there I was, encouraged by the familiar surroundings and moreish slices of warm parmesan bread, and generally feeling pretty positive. And then the food arrived - not *bad*, exactly, just not particularly interesting, flavourful or memorable. My starter was Braised pig's cheeks & chorizo, and was well presented and well proportioned in terms of the "veg to meat" ratio. But the potato was bland, the pig itself was underseasoned and even the crispy stick of skin resting on top - usually my favourite part - was underwhelming. I would otherwise have been willing to dismiss this as a rare misfire, except I was under the impression that pig dishes are what Tom Ilic is best at, and so I wasn't prepared to overlook this boring plate of food, plus a companion's Fois Gras terrine was similarly bland and heavy-going. Sweetbreads were OK though. Roast saddle and braised neck of lamb was interesting to look at, generous in terms of the servings of meat, and the little medallions of saddle were moist and tasty. But the braised piece was unpleasantly dry and chewy, and along with the potato and "spiced" aubergine (just mildly pickled as far as I could tell), underseasoned. In sharp contrast to the dip in quality of the food over the course of the evening, by the time we were ready to order dessert (lemon tart - nice enough, though not a great deal better than any shop-bought specimen), the restaurant was packed. On the table next to us was Giles Coren, whom the chef made a very public point of coming out to embrace like an old friend. Maybe they are old friends, I don't know, but I wonder how objective the review in the Sunday Times will be, knowing that the kitchen and service are alerted to the presence of a national food critic. OK, that sounds unforgivably bitter - I admit it, I was seething with jealousy and I want Giles Coren's job. He seemed like a lovely person, I enjoy reading his articles and I suppose it's only natural you make friends if you move in the same circles. I just wish he'd been there a few months ago when the Food Room was doing things much better and nobody gave a monkeys. I wonder how long Tom Ilic can keep a full restaurant on a Tuesday night, once the critics have written their reviews, the novelty factor wears off, and people start to realise that there really isn't anything that special about a place that for most Londoners takes quite an effort to get to. And maybe I'm being unfair - I suppose the worst you can say about Tom Ilic is that it's dull, and really there are worst things to be - expensive and dull, for example. But until those lovely memories fade, I'll be wearing my black armband for the Food Room. Why can't the good things last forever?Report this
15/03/2008 by gastro1
Influenced by Sue's review I went to Tom Ilic last night as part of a party of 6. The food and service was really excellent and Mr Ilic is not only a great talent but also a charming young man. Food and wine is very fairly priced and in many ways reminds me of Ramsey at Aubergine pre his first star. My only quibble is that some of the strters like Pig Cheek with mash are really main courses and in an attempt to keep thing economic the wine list is a little limited with no "great" wines to accompany the outstanding food. in terms of food everything that passed my lips was beautifully prepared and seasoned from the Pigs Cheek to the Roast beef Fillet with bone marrow , spinach and roast crispy root vegetables. Mr Ilic I will bring you some Slivovica on my next visit !Report this
Off the beaten path
09/02/2008 by sue
Tom Ilic had been on the To-Do list for a while, but after reading Browners review, it was accelerated to the top of the list, and a table was promptly booked. Dining at 7pm, we were first in on a Friday night, but by 8.30pm the restaurant was full. Wasn't too impressed with the décor - the carpet in the section we sat in looked like it needed a good clean. And what was with those unattractive blow heaters. After about 10 minutes we asked to change tables - a dimmer switch on the wall next to Alex's head was making an annoyingly loud buzzing noise. Apparently we weren't the first people to complain about this. The table we moved to had a flickering light above it, but after an adjustment via the aforementioned dimmer switch the problem was solved. Our waitress was very friendly, but a tad ditzy. We dined on a special deal - 3 courses plus a glass of bubbly for £23. This turned out to be excellent value based on the quality of the food we devoured. The bubbly went down well, as did a very tasty bottle of 2002 Benito Urbina Crianza Rioja. To start, we had the Braised pig's cheeks & chorizo with garlic & parsley mash, and the Tomato & pesto terrine with goats cheese croquettes. The pig's cheeks were juicy and perfectly accompanied by the not-too-spicy chorizo. The terrine was a disappointment - basically a slab of raw tomato with pesto at one end. Thankfully the goats cheese croquettes added some flavour. Main course was the Roast saddle & braised neck of lamb with potato & turnip gratin, and spiced aubergine, and also the Seared scallops, honey roast pork belly, Jerusalem artichokes & hazelnuts. These were both winners. I wasn't so sure about the scallops and pork belly at first, but when you tried a mouthful of all the components together you were wowed by the flavours and the nutty finish. Desserts we indulged in were the Pear tart tatin with cinnamon ice cream, and the Dark chocolate fondant with white chocolate & truffle ice cream. The pear tart looked and tasted superb, and the fondant was one of the better ones I have had of late, though it was so rich I couldn't finish it.Report this
What unexpectedly brilliant cooking
05/02/2008 by Browners
From Cowie... This was the secret location I have been keeping from Browny for weeks. To mark the end of January, I decided we should celebrate by going out somewhere special for dinner. I stumbled across Tom Ilic's new restaurant purely by accident and by judging the reviews, I thought it was definitely worth a try. For us this a local... and a bloody good one at that! The decor and style might not be to everyone's taste, but no one can argue about the superb qulaity of food and service. For a Thrusday night the place wasn't heaving but certainly full enough to create some atmosphere. We were dining on the toptable offer: 3 courses plus a glass of bubbliy for £23... what a bargain. I have to admit I had been studying the menu for weeks, yet still I couldn't decide what to have! After much deliberation I opted for a trio of salmon... cured, baked and tartare. The entire dish was light, elegrant, busting with flavour and delivered an excellent contrast in textures. I was thrilled with my choice. As was Browny who opted for a very earthy and manly sort of dish.. Pigs cheeks with chiozto. Again it was cooked perfectly, exploded with flavour and not at all fatty or greasy. All in all, a great start. For main, in hindsight I probably should have gone for the lamb. My breast of mallard was very good, rosy pink inside, but due to the nature of the bird it was slighty on the tough side. Browny on the other hand chose an absolute winner and a signature dish of Tom Ilic. It was pork belly with jerusalem artichokes, scallops, honey and hazelnuts. It was truly sensational... (Browny):"... that was one of the best things I have ever eaten! I did everything but lick my plate clean." Enough said I think! The puddings also did not disappoint. My lemon tart was oozing with subtle citrus flavour and the texture was as smooth as a baby's bottom. Browny's chocolate fondant was naughty, wicked and heavenly... everything you would expect from such a classic. Because the food bill was so reasonable we decided to make the most of a decent bottle wine. It was delicious. Light and very fruity. A bottle of South African Sauvignon Blanc that tasted of passion fruit and smelled of lyche. To top off a great evening off, we were lucky enough to meet the man himself, who came out to chat to us after his epic performance in the kitchen. We were immediately taken by his cheerful, charming, honest and reflective nature; a very talented chef and thoroughly nice man. We often rave and get excited about the places and restaurants we've eaten in, but this one has to be in my top 3. On a food front I really a barley think of a single bad thing to say about it. So please, do the right thing and go and see for yourselves what a tresure this place really is.Report this
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