One of the most talked about openings of recent years, Chiltern Firehouse is a new restaurant on Chiltern Street in London’s Marylebone area by Andre Balazs (known from Chateau Marmont in LA, The Mercer in New York and The Standard hotels). The restaurant is in a converted fire station, and the building retains some of its original features.
Sit at the counter, and watch all the action — Photo courtesy of Samphire and Salsify
On display in the open kitchen is a brigade of chefs under the direction of former Michelin-starred chef Nuno Mendes, who has previously worked with some of the greats, including Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
You can choose to sit on the counter in front of the kitchen, in the main dining room or you may wish to sit on the corner table that still features the original fireman’s pole.
The outside of Chiltern Firehouse restaurant — Photo courtesy of Chiltern Firehouse
Starters, designed for sharing, hint at the chef’s Southern American influences, with sea trout crudo with yellow mole and coriander and bream crudo accompanied by a delicately spiced green olive sauce.
A popular starter is the Firehouse Caesar, an interesting take on the classic dish with lettuce, crispy chicken skin and parmesan.
The Caesar salad at Chiltern Firehouse is an excellent dish! — Photo courtesy of Samphire and Salsify
From the mains, chargrilled Iberico pork is served deliciously rare with roasted garlic and lemon, but the highlight might be the monkfish cooked over pine, with its wonderfully smoky smell and taste, served simply with some fennel and barley.
Chiltern Firehouse feels exclusive and inclusive at the same time. It’s difficult to get a reservation, and the entrance feels like a fortress. But once inside, you’re in for a warm welcome from friendly, attentive staff who will make you feel at home.