Wednesday, 12 March 2014

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 
London
W1U 7PA

020 7073 7676

Follow on Bloglovin Square Meal Chiltern Firehouse on Urbanspoon

16 comments:

  1. This place looks gorgeous (as do you!) but what a pain about running out of smoked salmon - it's a brunch must have! Really lovely post, I love your blog already! xoxo
    The perks of being a hipster

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    1. Thank you!! It was very odd that they'd run out of smoked salmon, I almost suggested they nip to Waitrose to pick some up! But I'm not quite sure that's what a Michelin-starred chef would do....

      I'm so glad you like the post and the blog and hope you enjoy future tales!!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  2. Love the idea of a 3 course brunch!! And those salt and pepper shakers are too cute!

    Rosie xx

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    1. Lol! Glad you like it! Though we were going more for a lunch I guess!! The salt and pepper shakers were fire dogs, it made a quirky addition to the table though we got a bit immature putting them in different positions!!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  3. Angie, thanks for getting to this hot restaurant so we could all hear about it! I agree, brunch isn't complete without champers. Well, no day is, really. ;-) The desserts look delicious. Hopefully, I can get Mr. Sunny to go to brunch with me there some time, if we're lucky enough to score a table.

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    1. Wouldn't it be a great if everyday was a champagne day? I'm not a huge fan of desserts but the rhubarb thingy was amazing!! If you can I'd try and go for dinner as the brunch menu was quite reduced. The crab doughnuts are famous there, but they don't appear on the brunch menu.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  4. It's great to have a look inside via your post Angie. I'm so intrigued to try it too. Food looks good and so does the venue. Hopefully the teething problems will smooth themselves out. This looks like a great place for summer. x

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    1. It was fantastic being in there!! We felt quite special, though we didn't see any celebs! It was such early days so I don't blame them for the minor problems, at least they hadn't run out of eggs ;) That would be a brunch disaster!!
      Lots of Love,
      Angie

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  5. Ooo that all looks amazing. Very jealous that you got a reservation, will have to try my luck for a brunch x

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    1. Hi Fran, It was pure twitter vigilance that got me the table! I emailed literally as soon as reservations opened! I'll definitely do that again in the future.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  6. These all look so beautifully decadent! What a lovely meal and so nice to catch up with friends! Congratulations to the newly engaged couple. I'm so excited that your wedding is so soon. Do you think you'll blog any part of it?

    Katie <3

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    1. Oh yes, Gemma and Marc are a lovely couple and they'd just got a puppy so we were treated to some pics of him too! The food was excellent; just a shame that we went for brunch as the menu was really reduced.

      I'm going to start doing a few more wedding related posts in the build up. We've got our menu tasting soon so there will be a post on that, along with my hen do and some of the wedding itself!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  7. Is the brunch really expensive? Not sure what to expect.

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    1. Its definitely not as pricey as some London restaurants and brunch is a much cheaper option than dinner. I hope that helps.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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  8. I'm going here for lunch in a couple of weeks - was so hard to get the reservation! Looking forward to it though!
    Cx

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    1. Have a great time! You may even see David Beckham!!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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