Address: 89B Acre Lane, entrance on Branksome Road, SW2 5TN
Telephone: 020 7733 8855
We are realising the need to update our posts and so will be repeating the old information and changing our views (if we think they are different from before). For this restaurant we are only heaping more praise so read on.
Finding and getting in to Upstairs is a feat in itself. Although the restaurant overlooks Acre Lane the door is in Branksome Road and even with these instructions it can be missed. There is a doorbell just round the corner of Acre Lane and a discreet notice. After ringing, the door mysteriously opens and you enter a two up two down house – although in fact it is three floors. The first floor now contains a much reduced bar area where you might stop for an aperitif next to the fire or continue “upstairs” to the main dining room – minute but not seemingly crowded. The bar area has now been converted to include more tables presumably because of its popularity and consistent quality.
Who would believe that such a secretive restaurant would be so good and so consistent. Although the secret is out and we definitely can’t now appear without a booking. This is an Anglo-French restaurant with a good but blessedly short menu of fish, meat and vegetarian courses. All are wonderful. On a previous occasion I couldn’t make up my mind so we had the tasting menu. Never a bum note in the list. Lots of interest and changes not too drastic between courses. On our most recent visit we chose the a la carte menu and again were pleased with everything. Small soups with intense flavours and things made of beetroot stick in my mind. We went with a discerning wine drinker and the wine was good and not expensive. The cocktails too are interesting and fizzy wine very palatable.
Everything on the menu changes by the season so there is always something of interest. This is not cheap eating establishment but is a place for celebration or a quiet dinner for two or four. Conversation is easy to make and the service is very good and not at all intrusive but at the same time informative. For people who have had the cocktails trying to remember what we ordered was a little tough so a reminder at each course was really welcomed.
You definitely should book as it is only open for dinner and not then on every night. When we went on a Thursday it was relatively clear as the tables in the downstairs room seemed to be empty. So probably a late booking would be fine. You can book direct or through toptable.