Chiltern Firehouse [London]

The current London celeb hotspot is the work of chef Nuno Mendes formerly Viajante and offers a menu to appeal to oligarchs and trophy girlfriends alike.

After walking past Noel Gallagher, we’re offered a selection of snacks which cover the famous crab donuts (which sounded better than they tasted - all a bit bland) bacon cornbread (could have done with a meatier bite) and fried chicken (a step above your average and the pick of the bunch)

Starters followed and looked a better quality of cooking across the boards. I had an excellent Caeser salad that I could only really fault on a personal preference for a couple more anchovies. Some cured prawns were juicy and elegant and generally to a high standard.

For mains my steak tartar was slightly awash with additions to the point where the excellent quality meat was rather overwhelmed by an approximation 100 island dressing which is never ideal and my friend’s smoked Iberico pork tasted a little too close to liquid smoke, but clearly was good quality product.

So overall a mixed bag and a little bit of style over substance (the fit out is to a very high standard and the garden is lovely) Drop by, have some fun, but don’t expect mind blowing food.

Thanks for your review. I’ve been wondering what one of us would think of the food. Places get such

I really miss Bacchus, which was the restaurant he had before Viajante. Something about the venue just worked very well for me; the ambience at Viajante felt somewhat awkward in comparison, like a sort of twee tea shop.

I had a memorable evening at Bacchus where three of us had booked for the tasting menu done vegan, and he basically adapted the regular menu on the fly, ending up with a dessert involving Stella Artois foam since he’d already used all the intended dessert components in other dishes.

Thanks for the review. I had been curious about the place but after hearing that it was a celeb-frequented local, I assumed the atmosphere would trump the food and your review seems to confirm my suspicion. It doesn’t sound like a restaurant I would seek out. Perhaps I may try it, if I were in the neighborhood and nothing else was open or available and I was too tired to walk or go elsewhere.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr