Tel: +44 (0)20 8994 6887
Address: 131 Chiswick High Road, London W4 2ED
Cuisine Type: modern European
Stamford Brook (DISTRICT)
The Chiswick is THE place to find modern European cuisine produced with style and substance in west London. If you don’t believe me, try their next Gourmet Night, at which you are likely to find all manner of rare wonders like braised hare leg with smashed celeriac, or saute of ceps, parsley, garlic and wet polenta.
On any other night, such as the one on which we found ourselves there, the standards are scarcely lower. We ordered a Graham Beck 1999 Pinotge from South Africa which was heavy but velvety-smooth and surveyed the menu.
The selection appears to change daily and consists of two sections. An early evening menu is available with two courses for £9.50 or three courses for £12.95 before 8pm. The main courses are almost worth coming early for, including steamed shellfish with pappardelle, parsley and garlic, and a dessert selection featuring plum and ginger semi freddo or raspberyy and bramley crumble with raspberry ripple ice cream. The main a la carte section of the menu was where our attentions rested, however, and before very long we’d narrowed our desired starters to two agreeable offerings. The first of these was grilled sardine fillets with roast pepper and basil stew (£5), an unusual combination but a full-flavoured one. Chicken liver and foie gras parfait with toast and chutney (£6.50) had my name written all over it and proved delicious – although I’ve been lucky enough never to have endured bad foie gras.
Before very much longer some more wine was necessary. We ordered a jug this time (several wines are available in 500ml caraffes), but the wine was corked. The restaurant replaced it without fuss or debate and all was back on an even keel again. Main course was a hearty and succulent rump steak with chips and bearnaise (£11.50) for my companion and plaice fillets with parsley and capers (£10) for me. The fish portion was unusually generous as well as tender, piping-hot and tasty. Desserts, all priced at £4.50. were so good that we simply had to have a third, so ended up eating watermelon and vodka sorbet, roast peaches with amaretto and mascarpone (exceptional – I could eat this time and again!) and blackberry sabayon with shortbread, all of which were wickedly wonderful and made repeat visits a dead cert.
All meat is free range and farm assured and pipes and cigars are banned – something of an added bonus to an already enticing package consisting of a great atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable service – and of course wonderful food and drink.
If nothing else, we want to sample the rock oysters in shallot relish, or the fabulous-sounding twice-baked goat’s cheese souffle with spinach and olive oil. This is a place that knows about food and is definitely worth the effort of persisting with the vagaries of the District Line. Or you could get someone to drive you.