Christmas is the season of extravagance, so it seems only fitting that last week I hit up Chiltern Firehouse with one of my besties.
For those of you who haven’t heard of the firehouse yet – where have you been? It’s the hottest new haunt for the ‘slebs of London town. Not sure exactly how my friend managed to secure a booking, but it definitely involved a lot of time on hold, and even then it was finally secured through ‘connections’.
On arrival we weaved our way through the outdoor area, where beautiful oil lamps have been weaved through the trees and hedges, giving a warm and welcoming impression.
It’s a great dining room, large but with a cosy and warm atmosphere. In fact, when we arrived for an early sitting the place was absolutely buzzing. We, of course, sat ourselves at the chefs table so we could observe all the action from the bar. But there are plenty of hidden nooks that you can hide away in if you don’t want to be seen.
Nuno Mendes was at the helm, with a film crew following him around. From his past exploits I imagined the menu would feature more experimental combinations, but this wasn’t the case at all. It was just good, honest food – with surprisingly large portion sizes!
Here’s a quick low down of what we ate:
Corn bread fingers – I found these a bit too sweet, and would give them a miss in future.
Crab donuts – to DIE for. Ordering a portion per diner should be compulsory.
Scallops – perfectly cooked, with a golden brown crust and tender centre.
Octopus – I have tried octopus lots of times and struggled with it, but it’s never been like this. Incredible.
Chicken – served with charred leek and mustard this was deliciously savoury.
Iberico pork – Served with sprouts it was a truly festive dish. The sprouts were raw and sautéed, both fantastic and without the bitterness that you can get with overcooking them. The pork was deliciously smoky from the char-grill, and succulent and pink inside.
The only drawback – after the difficulty of securing a table – was the price. Our bill for 2 came to in excess of £250 – and while we did have a glass of Champagne and a cocktail each, our wine choice was rather reserved in price!
For atmosphere alone this place should get 5 stars, the food is wonderful too. Not 100% sure it’s worth the price tag, but it’s a very lovely place to have dinner.