Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Chiltern Firehouse

Plenty of smoke

"Oh my god Chiltern Firehouse is on fire right now", "Chiltern Firehouse is the hottest ticket in town".... That is the types media hype given to hotelier Andre Balazs's latest project in Marylebone, he has appointed Nuno Mendes, who ran the 1 star Michelin Viajante restaurant in East London to head up the kitchen in Chiltern Firehouse. With celebrities flooding in as well as the overwhelming positive reviews from the press, I booked myself in and much to my surprise, it was rather easy, a few weeks in advance was all that was needed.

Chiltern Firehouse
fried chicken with bacon moose

The decor of Chiltern Firehouse is much like a high end French brasserie in New York style with an open kitchen. The type of the cooking is mostly "French American", nothing too fancy with some creative modern takes in an al la carte three course menu. We kicked off with an excellent starter in the grilled octopus, the octopus was well sourced, really tender and cut like butter, the garnish of aubergine and mushrooms puree gave it a lovely sweet and earthy flavour, with that pine nut on top giving it a nice crunchy finish.

poached egg, jersey royals, wild garlic and morels
grilled octopus, aubergine and mushroom

My main: Roasted turbot was pleasant but really not good enough for the price it commanded, the fish was moist and cooked to the right level but very salty on the seasoning, the flowering broccoli tops was a fun element and it does give the dish a contrast of textures. The other main of pan roasted chicken was rather weak, the meat was dry and the flavours combination was uninspiring, no firework for me that is for sure.

pan roasted chicken, kale and bread pudding
roasted turbot, flowering broccoli tops & horseradish cream

I found Chiltern Firehouse was pretty good but no way near the level of exceptional likes that the press had mentioned. With all the hype and buzz, I couldn't help but to think it was driven by some well executed PR plan instead of the very food itself. But then again maybe that is not what Chiltern Firehouse had in mind as evidence showed with all the high profile celebrity customers, and the kind of "branding" direction it seems it is associating with, it would be interesting to see if Chiltern Firehouse will become the new Ivy.

Food 6.5
Service 6
Ambience 5
Value 5

£59 per head with a glass of wine

One Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA


Chiltern Firehouse on Urbanspoon

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