Chiltern hot!

I made it onto the hottest booking sheet this year... So, after confirming a table almost 3 months ago for a Friday evening, my time finally came. 

There's not been a day go by where Chiltern Firehouse hasn't popped up on the Daily Mail gossip column and I don't think they've had an evening off paps being sat's THE restaurant to go to at this point in time. And I can't see it being knocked off the top spot for a while...

It was a belated celebration for our yummy mummy's birthday. Rarely having the four of us together we treated it as a family do and met around 7pm for pre drinks before our meal at 8pm. Your greeted by front of house the moment you step out of your taxi, which is a lovely touch and one which makes you think immediately that this place is rather special. 

The bar was pleasantly full however we were still about to perch on the bench seating and have a table. Swiftly being greeted by the bar manager with a 'I hear we have a birthday' and handed our drinks menus. The staff already showing high standard and finesse from the moment we stepped inside. 

Interior pic from Standard Online
After a couple of champers we were lead to our banquette table which, for four of you was a lovely arrangement. The room is an impressive vast space still with the history of what it once was. They have cleverly kept the large fire doors, the roof is made of woven old fire hoses and, making up the main element of the room, is a wonderful open and buzzing kitchen. It has a rustic feel to it but oozes NYC glamour at the same time.

Our waitress showed us some of the snacks which are 'ideal to start with' and we happily accepted her recommendation of the infamous 'crab doughnuts' and 'crispy fried chicken'. The doughnuts were a mini brioche bun, filled with a generous portion of wonderfully fresh crab and sprinkled with a coral 'dust'. Light, sweet, and yet incredibly more-ish. 

The crispy chicken was super crunchy, tender and grease free. Dunked in the decadent bacon dip this was seriously spot on.

The menu reads almost too well for its own good. I for one couldn't decided for at least 20mins which could have been our downfall later when they wanted to turn the tables...

For starters, I finally settled on grilled octopus with aubergine, daikon and mushroom. It was amazingly tender having been braised first there wasn't a single rubbery bit to it. It was a plate full of different textures which all come together perfectly. A hint of a Far Eastern taste to it made this dish a really enjoyable first course and showed off perfectly how well Chef, Nuno Mendes know's his flavours and boy, can he cook. 

The family had the following and all loved every single one:

Birthday girl: Roasted Chicken Wings, slow cooked egg, rice broth and morels

Dad: Sea Trout Crudo yellow mole and coriander

Brother: Red prawns, almond milk and smoked grapes

Mains had as much flare and fabulousness as the starters. Mine being the Roasted Turbot seaweed fregola, cucumber and crème fraîche. This was delicious, a triumph and one I will remember for a long time. The fish, perfectly cooked matched well with the sharp pickled cucumber and sour crème fraîche. A pretty sprinkling of nasturtiums, tiny, tiny courgettes and a very green but delicious seaweed sauce completed the dish.

The rest of the bunch had:

2 x Chargrilled Iberico pork roasted garlic and collard greens - served rare.

Spring lamb minted greens, radishes and goat's curd.

All were plated beautifully and again, tummies were satisfied greatly.

We actually had puddings however, by this point my battery had died and therefore, sadly, I cannot put pics up. But I had some of the hazelnut ice cream which was scrummy...Mum was presented with a candle atop her dessert which, I cannot recall what pudding it was but that extra touch was really thoughtful. 

Our two hour time slot (my pet hate in restaurants) was up and we moved to the bar area and carried on the evening finishing off our bottle of wine and having a few night caps... I think we could have gone on and on, sensible thinking got the better of us and we headed home around midnight - it's another one of those restaurants where time seems to just drift away...

Chiltern Firehouse has the most spectacular buzz, everyone is incredibly energized which rubs off onto everyone within the restaurant. The staff are attentive and really knowledgeable, all seem genuinely happy to be working there. It really is a special place and I cannot wait to go back...if I manage to get another booking.

Address: 1 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA


p.s.I recommend you book for later in the evening to get its full atmospheric potential. 

Square Meal

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