Neighbourhood restaurant in Hammersmith
There aren't that many decent restaurants around in Hammersmith apart from the legendary River Cafe, but River Cafe is simply one of those restaurants I just have to give a miss to, due to its ridiculous pricing in a cafe setting, and judging from the menu, it doesn't seem that inspiring. But when Brackenbury, a neighbourhood restaurant re-opened at the Brackenbury village just behind Hammersmith, with ex-management and ex-chefs from the River Cafe at the helm, I decided to visit without any hesitation, just to wonder if I would get any closer to the standard of River Cafe at a much "friendlier" price.
The place is truly "neighbourhood" and it seems like two houses combined as a unit with odd steps in the middle of the two dining rooms. For starter I had the razor clams, cooked with white wine, garlic, chilli and parsley. Very simple starter and it is all about the freshness of the razor clams, the meat was tender and smooth, the seasoning was well balanced without overpowering the dedicated sweetness, it was a pretty pleasant dish.
|razor clams, white wine, garlic, chilli and parsley|
|tagliatelle ai porcini|
For main, I opted for the roast Icelandic cod with brown shrimps, lemon and parsley, served with ratte potatoes and spinach. It was such a shame the cod was over cooked and lost some of the softness I seek when it comes to a well cooked cod fillet, also there was a few bones left on the meat which can be an issue for some diners. The flavour itself was actually not bad, a classic combination with herbal and citrus flavours coming through but the potatoes was less impressive, tasted rather bland and the same applied for my friend's spiced fish stew, lacking powerful flavours and any real impact to linger on my taste buds.
|roast Icelandic cod with brown shrimps, lemon and parsley|
|spiced fish stew|
I had a lovely ginger pudding for dessert, while it looks ordinary and simple, it was such a very home comforting dish. The warm pudding was moist and had the perfect balance of spiciness and sweetness, it was very good indeed with a few dashes of cream on top and I just wished the portion was little bigger as I really enjoyed it.
|petit pot au chocolat|
Overall it was a pretty decent find, the food wasn't either creative or exceptional in quality, but rather, a pretty decent neighbourhood restaurant that serves simple modern European food. Not a single dish delivered a taste bud sensation or got me off my chair but maybe that is not what The Brackenbury is aiming for? Perhaps I was expecting too much after reading the chefs' CV, or is it early days and the best are yet to come? Time will tell.
£40 per head with a glass of wine
129-131 Brackenbury Rd, London W6 0BQ