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Chiltern Firehouse

Foxeyblue | May 24, 201505:13 AM

I don't normally post reviews on here, but it seems to becoming a bit of a trend to do so and therefore I thought why not start with a review of the most hyped London restaurant of the last few years. Nuno Mendes (ex-Elbulli) is the head chef of this space, which is really extremely pleasant. The big firehouse doors welcome you into a garden-like space before the cloakroom staff (who seem to be wearing evening dresses) take your coats. From there, the main room is light and airy with the bustling open kitchen towards the middle.

Firstly, the service was excellent and actually rather fun, with the staff reading the mood of the table and joining in with our jokes, whilst remaining professional and efficient and very aware of their customers. The cocktails are good and worth a try (obviously the wine list is large and comes with eager descriptions from the sommelier)

Bar snacks were ordered, the signature crab doughtnuts, which are just about small and light enough to get away with being almost a dessert. The cornbread fingers with their slightly chili tinted, maple butter were more cake and less bread than the cornbread I've made or had with Southern US food but very tasty. The sweetness continuing with the puree of maple-bourbon sweet potatoes that were a later side-dish. Amazing, but essentially candy.

Mains were more normal fare but good; slow cooked cod with raw & roasted carrots and brown butter brought firm, well-cooked fish. Welsh lamb, beautifully done with garlic and grains (trendy little critters such as freekeh and barley).

Frozen apple panna cotta is a meringue swirl of a dessert in a bowl of apple granita. Actually quite complex in flavour and more interesting than the chocolate tart. Ice creams were smooth and superb as would be expected.

Cheap it isn't, but also arrogant and pretentious it didn't appear either. I'd go back for brunch next time.

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