Chiltern Firehouse – The hottest place around town

If you live in London and you havent heard about all the talk of this restaurant yet then clearly you have been hiding under some large rock. Becoming quite the celebrity haunt for A-listers alike and constantly featured in the Online Mail it’s not a wonder this former fire station took me just over 4 months to get a Saturday night booking. I just had to find out what the fuss was really all about……

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My first impressions were how wonderfully friendly and almost over polite the staff were. The security guard greeted me out the front and was up for some chit chat while I waited for a friend to join me. You were welcomed by a lush patio area and loads of pot-plants and green shrubbery almost giving it that cafe garden centre sense about it – you know the ones that always have the best cake and make you feel so relaxed in such a tranquil leafy setting. Anyway with the contrast of the red brick and dark wooden features I was already starting to feel like it was my kind of place.

 

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I was asked if I was happy to sit on the Chefs table area and of course I was more than satisfied with his arrangement. Although it appeared that we were sitting on a breakfast type bar I always like the idea of sitting near the kitchen in the restaurant. Watching the chefs getting their creativity on and embracing the manic-ness as the orders come rolling in.

To start the evening I ordered a glass of the Tempranillo – since I was in a red wine kind of mood and it had been while anyway. I skimmed the menu and decided to skip the starters and go for the main meal and a dessert. Sometimes my eyes are just way to big for my belly and tonight I really wanted to play it sensible for a change. I went for the Monkfish while my friend decided the lamb was looking as equally tasty. For sides we chose the creamed spinach and green bean salad. 

 

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I am a huge fish lover and with that comes ridiculously high standards and being over the top fussy. So what was the verdict then? Well the Monkfish was pretty decent and teamed up with the beans, the crunchiness of the pine nuts and the distinct taste of the fennel, it really wasnt a bad mix of flavours. 

 

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My favourite part of the evening was….. you guessed it….choosing a dessert, which by the way I can never make up my mind about unless being recommended by the trusty waiter. This time around I didn’t even bother to ask because I knew with my slight obsession with anything dark chocolate related the Tarte was a standout over everything else! The Carrot Chiltern was also something we wanted to try out since I am a big fan of Carrot cake (especially my Mum’s) 🙂 

WOW what can I say. Just how I had imagined it would be. The dark chocolate was rich and goey and the toasted hazelnut ice-cream topped it off just nicely. The carrot dessert was not what I had expected at all. Almost like an apple crumble with lashes of carrot peel and paired very well with the horse-radish ice cream – absolutely superb and incredibly different. 

 

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If I had to say one thing about this popular venue that stood out for me would be the surprisingly warm, homely-ness feel it brings. A really great mixture of people and not with the pretentious vibe I thought it may have been. The staff bend over backwards for you without being too in your face. The price is actually very affordable considering that it is the ‘It’ place to be at the moment. 

If you are after a dinner reservation over the weekend I strongly advice booking well in advance to avoid disappoint. Next time I would love to come back for a leisurely Sunday brunch and sit amongst the trees in the fabulous courtyard. I’m thinking a bloody Mary, a newspaper and some gorgeous sunshine is a good start. 

Check it out if you are lucky enough to get in – im sure you are bound to spot some famous individual being pounced by the papps and the flashing camera lights. Nothing like a bit of light entertainment for the evening. 

Square Meal

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