| Everyday London Life Restaurants

Chiltern Firehouse – The hottest table in town

When Viajante closed at the end of February, I was disappointed that I had never got to try one of the world’s best restaurants featuring the Michelin-starred cuisine of hot Portuguese chef, Nuno Mendes. But when the buzz started about his new residence, Chiltern Firehouse, I was keen to go and emailed the restaurant as soon as reservations opened. I was lucky enough to get a table for Sunday Brunch. Chiltern Firehouse is currently, the appropriately named, hottest place in town and its virtually impossible to get a booking. My quick email and constant twitter observation had scored myself, Mr S and another couple a table at the hot new place!
The restaurant is based in Andre Balazs new hotel in Marylebone, also called Chiltern Firehouse. Though the hotel was not yet open we entered the restaurant via a pretty court yard. We were lucky to have such a beautiful day for our eagerly anticipated brunch!

The building is a stunning grade II listed property and once housed Chiltern Street Fire station, hence the name of the hotel and restaurant!We were greeted warmly by the staff at the door and led into a stunning dining room that reminded us all of a New York brasserie with a huge open kitchen. As I expected the place was packed and alive with energy.

We were meeting our good friends, Gemma and Marc, who had recently got engaged in New York, and the restaurant bought back some very happy memories for them.

Here’s our excited foursome!

We started brunch the best way we knew how, with bloody Marys and champers!

The menu has a strong American influence; perhaps as Mendes had worked in the states for 16 years alongside highly regarded chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Teething troubles for the new restaurant were obvious. Service was slow and they had run out of smoked salmon and lobster, my brunch favourites. As the menu was only brunch options and not the full a la carte and the lack of my favourite fish choices left me a little unsure of what to have to start with.

Rather disappointed, I order a salad for my starter.

But what a wonderful salad it was, mixed leaves, with orange, beetroot and candied pecans. It sounds simple but it was perfectly dressed and the pecans added a delicious crunch.

My more carnivorous brunch buddies all plumped for Mendes’ famous steak tartare.


The steak tartare was one of the best my dining companions had ever had. The steak was tender and juicy, the egg perfectly cooked and the hot sauce a very welcome addition.

Two very happy boys!

As Mr Silver and I are due to marry in May and Gemma and Marc in August, conversation turned to weddings as we awaited our main courses. And we discussed the many joys and stresses of planning our imminent weddings. And of course the honeymoons!

Soon our main courses arrived. It was crab linguine for my fellow diners.

The neighbouring table had warned us to avoid this dish as they found the pasta to be overcooked. But we actually very much enjoyed the fresh crab and soft pasta. A highly delicious and comforting brunch dish.

I chose maple glazed salmon served with monks’ beard and fennel.

I had worried it would be a little sweet but it wasn’t at all. The salmon was absolutely delicious and quite rare on the inside. Just how I like it!

Salt and pepper, anyone?

We also shared a few tasty side dishes.


And of course there was room for dessert…

Stewed rhubarb with milk ice cream. Marc said he had always hated rhubarb but was converted after trying this dessert. It was also my favourite!
Chocolate tart….so rich and decadent.

And finally pecan pie. An Southern-American staple perfectly executed.

Service at Chiltern Firehouse was slow and patchy and the lack of smoked salmon and lobster was unfortunate for brunch time. However, its still very early days for the restaurant and I’m sure they will iron out those small problems. One thing we could not fault was the excellent food; all fairly simple brunch dishes but executed incredibly well.

As Chiltern Firehouse, really is the on fire at the moment, its very hard to get a booking. But aim for brunch as we did, or dining at the kitchen counter and you never know your luck, you could be in there with the A-List.

Chiltern Firehouse
1 Chiltern Street
020 7073 7676
Chiltern Firehouse on Urbanspoon