Having recently launched their new spring menu which includes a snail sauce, no less, we decided it was high time that we took a trip to Cheyne Walk Brasserie on Chelsea Embankment. A firm favourite with the locals, who have high dining standards –my basis for this assumption is that they live on streets aptly named Lordship Place and count the Kings Road as their high street – we expected great things.
We arrived on Tuesday evening and although when we got there the restaurant was noticeably empty by the time we left it was bustling with diners – perhaps in Chelsea they dine a little later.
We started with pan fried calamari with garlic butter and smoked tomato coulis – the calamari was well cooked, although if it did have garlic butter then it was lost in the smokiness of the tomato. We also ordered the oven baked Goat’s cheese which came with onions, smoked duck and figues on toast, perhaps I am going in too strong when I say heavenly, but the cheese, oh the cheese it just oozed everywhere, it was creamy, rich and we couldn’t get enough of it.
Moving on we ordered the salt encrusted royal sea bream – when they brought it over it was still encased in its salt crust (they bake it in the crust for 21 minutes to keep it succulent), although thankfully they cut it for us, because I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle such a thing. We chose not to order a sauce and in fact the sea bream was that succulent it didn’t need a sauce – well done crust, you did your job. We also ordered the duck breast, which was tender and worked well with the honey sauce but I fear that without the sauce it would have been a little flavourless.
As ever we went a little overboard with the sides –dauphinoise were some of the best I have tried, and the bacon with peas were a welcome addition, but the spinach and mushrooms were just that, spinach and mushrooms and at £4.15 each I would hope for a little extra, garlic with the mushrooms or something to liven up the spinach.
Being in a French restaurant we had our cheese before pudding, the creamy Roquefort stood out against the goat’s cheese although the camembert baked in bread crumbs was also full of flavour. We finished with a white chocolate mousse that was dreamily smooth and the kirsch cherries cut through it to stop it being too rich.
Cheyne Walk is a great, local restaurant and whilst the food was undeniably good there were just a few tweaks needed for the flavours to really stand out and to warrant some of the Chelsea prices.