AT THIS time of year, it is impossible not to turn your mind towards Wimbledon. The sun is (or should be) out, the Pimms is flowing and all eyes are on centre court to witness the most prestigious tennis tournament in history. This summer, however, there is an entirely different reason to turn your mind towards Wimbledon. That reason is Hot Pink.
Situated on The Broadway, just a stone’s throw from Wimbledon Station, Hot Pink is an essential experience for those looking to make culinary choices that are simultaneously simple and delicious. The healthy grill provides patrons with a multitude of options, whilst still managing to maintain a menu that lets the food speak for itself.
An establishment like Hot Pink is a godsend for someone like me. You see, I’m the kind of person that will spend an eternity pondering a menu until I inevitably become overwhelmed by the critical decision between chicken and fish.
One look at Hot Pink’s menu eliminates the guesswork: it is divided into three sections – mains, sides and sauces, with diners choosing one item from each section to make up their meal. Although it may seem like quite a basic concept, Hot Pink’s ordering system results in a refreshing, no-stress restaurant experience.
After ordering, you do not have to wait long before you are able to see what all of the fuss is about. The juicy, medium-rare steak is cooked to perfection and is unadorned by the unnecessary frills that can often ruin a perfectly good piece of meat. Special credit, however, must be given to the salmon — the fish is served as a thick slice that has flavour oozing from every inch, melting in your mouth with each bite. Hot Pink also provides chicken and vegetarian options, each of which seemed to burst off the plate and scream freshness.
Of course, no meal is complete without side dishes and Hot Pink does not disappoint on this account. The lentils and rice had an unexpectedly crunchy texture that nicely offset the juiciness of the steak. The sweet potato wedges were thick cut, golden brown and – unquestionably – some of the best to be found in London.
Each meal was served with a sauce that added the personalised flavour that some might crave. The spicy sauce was a particular stand-out. The rich taste almost creeps up on you as the spice rears it tangy head. Be warned, though – use the sauces in moderation, as to overwhelm the food’s natural flavours would be a true crime.
After the main meal, the fun at Hot Pink is still only just beginning. The restaurant’s speciality chocolate brownie somehow manages to be both moist and firm, which is everything you can ask from a brownie really. The revelation, however, is in the hot apple and sultana bake. I always have high expectations for the dish (one of Nanna’s dishes, no less!) and Hot Pink’s rendition of the classic desert managed to surpass them all. If nothing else, any desert lover would not regret the trip to Wimbledon if they walk away having sampled Hot Pink’s range of after-dinner treats.
The only way to describe Hot Pink is ‘unpretentiously hip’. The restaurant does not purport to be anything more than a healthy grill, when in reality it is an example of what can happen when great chefs respect the food enough to let it be the star of the meal. When the hassle and heartache of missing out on tickets for Wimbledon becomes too much to bear, spare a thought for Hot Pink. It will be the best Wimbledon experience you could possibly hope for.
86 The Broadway
London SW19 1RQ