As we approached No Fifty Cheyne, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, of a Saturday evening, the streets felt quaint quite and soothingly silent. This is SW3. No, Fifty Cheyne, is a neighborhood eating place that, tremendously talking, nearly nobody needs to common over a weekend. If you may come up with the money to have this aesthetically incredible protection as your nearby, there’s a strong chance you’ve got different houses to escape to come Friday.
No Fifty Cheyne sits near the Thames, bathed inside the iridescent twinkle of Albert Bridge, and blue plaques on nearby walls speak of rose bushes planted via Elizabeth I. Sally Greene, theatre impresario and proprietor of Ronnie Scott’s, has taken her former Cheyne Walk Brasserie and converted it into an fashionable, grown-up secure area from life’s beastliness. Downstairs is a 70-seat restaurant serving the likes of snail and black pudding vol-au-vent, chook liver terrine, a 14oz chateaubriand to proportion, and local lobster. Upstairs is a claret-colored, womb-like, windowless cocktail snug and, to the right of this, the form of paneled, bejeweled, couch-strewn living room wherein one ought to imagine Marquise Isabelle from Dangerous Liaisons carrying a big bonnet and plotting mischief.
Obviously, this can all be pretty horrific: stiff, sterile and squander some. Instead, it is an appropriate typhoon of very posh yet additionally pub-like. The roots of this lie with chef Iain Smith, previously head chef of Jason Atherton joint Social Eating House and the now-defunct So share. Should No Fifty Cheyne provide a rigid tasting menu, complete with the requisite “emulsions” and “fragments”, the cold ambiance derived from such faffery can also have ruined the location, but as a substitute, there are grilled lamb chops, red meat-dripping chips and pear disintegrate with custard for pudding. Prices veer from “posh gastropub” to “Jesus Christ, how a whole lot?”; from a Herdwick lamb rump primary at £29 to lobster at £45 – but then, if you discover yourself caught in Chelsea at the weekend, in place of to your Cotswolds mansion, possibly a little bisque might be some solace.
Overall, the area is, to apply the technical time period, “a great chortle” and truly romantic. The team of workers, led through Benoit Auneau, have been jolly, activate and unobtrusive, the clients in large part married couples, a number of whom appeared as if they had weathered at the least a silver anniversary yet nevertheless preferred a walk together on a heat spring night.
We ordered 3 starters, all of them quite incredible. A gratifying bowl of smoked Scottish salmon arrived on a soft, heat salad of new potato and muscat grape melded together with a pond-green, herby cream. That turned into followed by using dark, squid-ink rice armed with grilled langoustine and scallop, and titivated with an archly bouji champagne sauce that Charles decreed the first-class aspect he’d eaten this yr.
The vegan alternative was a wildly ornate salad of shaved beetroot, pickled apple and pear, leaves and delicate cashew nut cream. It turned into a hint candy; however, a robust foray into the complicated international of dairy-free great dining. For vegetarians, there has been a gradual-cooked fowl’s egg with asparagus, morels and wild garlic. Portions erred on the aspect of health, as opposed to stingy, that’s perhaps why the temper changed into so buoyant. People were without a doubt being fed.
Mains persevered in a largely faultless way. A comforting plate of cob bird – breast and a neat croquette – came with an earthy wild mushroom stew and parsley liquor. A vegan important of braised his cabbage with broccolini and younger leek doused in a herb-and-tomato olive-oil sauce turned into a bold, rural romp that I enjoyed, but that went unappreciated through Charles, who turned into distracted through his elderly red meat fillet and cheek crowned with a beneficiant quantity of smoked bone marrow and creamed spinach, which changed into dictionary-definition largesse.