Restaurant review: Chiltern Firehouse

The audience is in their seats.  Squirming and twitching with slight status anxiety, as these seats are priceless and a little inaccessible.

Chiltern Firehouse on Chiltern St, W1

(set design) Chiltern Firehouse on Chiltern St, W1

The stage is set.  A stunning 1889 Grade II-listed Victorian-gothic fire brigade building with a discreetly gated garden as the entrance.  Handsome tall, flat-capped doormen mark the entrance.

tall, handsome doorman with Juicy Lucy

tall, handsome doorman with Juicy Lucy

Enter stage right: André Balazs – a Hungarian-born US citizen with a hotel and restaurant empire (think Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and The Mercer Hotel in NYC).

Enter stage left: head chef Nuno Mendes – ex Viajante and a man who can do no wrong in any kitchen.

the cast of beautiful diners

the cast of beautiful diners

WHOOSH. Suddenly the curtain has been swept aside to reveal what is, quite frankly, the biggest show in town.  It’s Day 17 and Chiltern Firehouse is already smokin’ hot.  Full of insanely beautiful (or famous, or both) guests waited on by a team of the best cheekbones I’ve ever seen.

Last week, I begged for a booking at their kitchen counter, even offering my firstborn as a sacrifice …  (I had read that the counter is the best place to sit and wasn’t going to settle for any less.)

kitchen view at the counter

kitchen view at the counter

Actually, I lie.  It was easy to book once I mentioned the word REVIEW.  Beautiful people love to be written about.

P1030159So, last night, after a quick Bellini at the bar (quick as in 2 seconds before it was placed in front of me), Juicy Lucy and I were escorted to the kitchen counter.  Passing David Walliams, Jo Wood and various other ‘famous’ en route.

The buzz is immense.  Everyone is there to be spotted and to spot. I’ve never seen a Monday night quite so jubilant.

raw bream, spiced green olive £9

raw bream, spiced green olive £9

We shared 3 starters, served by at least 4 different members of the handsome Firemen team (who by the way are mostly bearded).

Firehouse Caesar with crispy chicken skin and parmesan £9

Firehouse Caesar with crispy chicken skin and parmesan £9

roast Lebanese cucumber, seaweed fregola, creme fraiche and dill £9

roast Lebanese cucumber, seaweed fregola, creme fraiche and dill £9

And then for main,  I chose another starter.  Steak Tartare with pine nuts and chipotle spice with a portion of French fries.

Steak Tartare at Chiltern Firehouse

Steak Tartare at Chiltern Firehouse

Sitting opposite the kitchen was indeed superb.  I counted at least 14 chefs silently at work in their lavishly open plan workshop before Dale Osbourne (head chef when Nuno is off) popped over to chat a little to us.

Dale Osborne in the kitchen at Chiltern Firehouse

Dale Osborne in the kitchen at Chiltern Firehouse

For dessert we shared the Citrus Tarte £8

For dessert we shared the Citrus Tarte £8

I didn’t want to go home.  Ever.  And not because I’m one of the beautiful people but quite simply because I love the thrill and excitement of the Firehouse.   Shiny, happy people.  Who cares if they’re twitching a bit.

I insisted on borrowing the doorman's hat before we left.

I insisted on borrowing the doorman’s hat before we left.

 Chiltern Firehouse 1 Chiltern Street W1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

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2 Responses to Restaurant review: Chiltern Firehouse

  1. Lucy

    Just a ‘beautiful’ write up and what a fabulous evening, thank you, juicy Lucy xxx

  2. yablon

    no ‘beautiful’ without you, Chicken! xxx

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