We’ve all seen the incredible success Brixton Market has now become…but move over Brixton, there’s a new kid on the block in the form of Tooting Market. Much smaller than Brixton but equally as inviting with fairy lights sprinkled haphazardly around the place and shabby chic furniture taken to the extreme – it’s now home to a rather fabulous wine bar aptly named, Unwined.
Laura and Kiki are the founders of ‘A Grape Night In’, which used to pop up all over London, but they decided to put down roots last summer in Tooting Market and Unwined was born.
I visited on a Thursday evening with a friend as I’d lost count of the number of people who told me I should try it, and thank goodness I finally listened to them. They’ve cottoned onto the pop-up food trend currently storming London and have a ‘pop-up’ chef that changes on a regular basis. And we were in luck – this month’s resident pop-up was Korean food by Salon Events.
The wine list also changes on a regular basis, reflecting the food and in-keeping with a monthly theme, which was Halloween on our visit. This meant all of the wines had a slightly sinister story behind them, and we really appreciated hearing the history of the wines whenever we ordered a new one. It was such a refreshing change to be told the back-story rather than the same old details about the grape/taste etc.
And they certainly know how to chose wine – all perfectly matching the incredible food, I had a glass of the Fledermaus White (a German Muller Thurgau/Silvaner) with tempura soft shell crab and I was in absolute heaven! I then sampled a glass of the Blank Bottle from South Africa, so-called because the grapes are unknown as the vines they come from are so old – it was my favourite of the evening and I agreed with our waitress who thought it might be Chenin Blanc.
The atmosphere when I visited was buzzing but not overwhelming. I’m glad we booked a table and even more impressed that they have not jumped on the bandwagon of not taking bookings (although they also keep a number of tables back for walk-ins which is good). There was a birthday going on, a couple on a date and lots of friends getting together so it’s worth a visit for any occasion. I haven’t been this impressed with a wine bar in a very long time and I will certainly be an advocate now, persuading others to give it a try. Top marks Unwined!