Thursday, September 3, 2015

Birthday Dinner: London's Chiltern Firehouse

Okay so technically my birthday was 8 months ago, but this was long time coming - being a Christmas eve baby means no birthday celebrations, being overshadowed by the festive season (but it's not to say I'm not a fan) and traveling and New Year's, Valentine's, rubbish bank holidays, Easter break, summer holidays etc. etc. I'm sure you get the idea you guys. Anyway I've wanted to hop over to Chiltern Firehouse for a while now, after seeing it being talked by a few foodie friends, so Matt and I decided to make a booking, and see what the fuss was all about!

In the heart of where A-list celebs hang out (I think, I don't actually know), we trotted off to Marylebone, walked past the Monocle shop and headed through a very nondescript and unassuming building which was once, as the name suggests, a firehouse now turned into fashionable dining spot. 

I wore my flowy red dress which I hadn't worn since my graduation last year and my trusty trench from Zara! I love the old school vibes where we shot these pictures, on the Bakerloo line, reminding me of another era entirely :) 

(Wearing: Dress - Warehouse | Trench coat - Zara)

First thing I have to say: damn son, this place is exclusive as hell. We went on a Tuesday evening for dinner, and were greeted by a flurry of trained waitresses/waiters and she held up the velvet-y curtains to reveal everyone who's who and their extended rich families dining and sipping posh cocktails. The entrance had some dude armed with an expensive dSLR (pap alert) to snap away if a celeb turned up (no one did, not that I recognised anyone because I'm bad at keeping up) I realise this sounds condescending because we're basically throwing ourselves in there anyway, but I do like poking fun at the mega-rich$$$.

I thought I was overdressed but phew - thankfully didn't turn up in a baggy t-shirt because these diners got their outfits game on!

That's besides the point. We were shown our fancy seats at the ~Chef's Counter~, which is apparently, one of the 'best seats' in the house – I'm guessing it's because you could see the chefs cook/do things with fire etc. but I was pretty nonplussed about it. I was more excited about eating.

AND IT WAS GOOD GUYS. I had a strawberry daiquiri (sans alcohol because we don't drink) as accompaniment and then picked our starters.

We were recommended the crab doughnuts (?!?!? FANCY?) and Matt had a southern-fried chicken plate and we happily nommed away. I have to say, the doughnuts were alright, but I did enjoy the subtle tanginess it had. As for the chicken, chicken will always be chicken. And fried chicken is fried chicken and it was good. But the main courses were the highlight, I was smiling like this :)))) (and more, you get the idea)

Not wanting to repeat orders (puh lease I know everyone does this too) - I had the chargrilled (I honestly don't remember the fancy titles) lamb with roasted buckwheat (??? ok I love buckwheat actually) and broccoli purée, Matt had the roast pork with crafted barely-cooked broccoli.

BOTH WERE AMAZING. This is what I'm talking about. Not doughnuts, not chicken. This meat was superb! My lamb was tender but not raw or overly pungent, and melts into your melt like... cotton candy? They could've done without the buckwheat but I did enjoy the purée to go with it. Palette perfection. The pork was likewise cooked to a nice soft texture (none of that overcooked crap) and paired nicely with the broccoli :)))) (here we go again) and om nom nom we went, watching the chefs busily put together other patrons' dishes over the yells of the head chef...

JUST LOOKIT THAT. Granted, it's just a man + his pork. But it smelled so good. AND WHAT IS UP WITH THE UPSIDE DOWN ROSEMARY BOUQUET?! Overhead rosemary infusion.... this is some serious business we're talking about. It was a delight watching them man each of their stations, doing everything in quick succession like there was no tomorrow. It was fun!

The crème de la crème of the evening was obviously our poo-shaped meringue and crème brûlée with apple shaved ice. Obviously not named that... but c'mon, look at it. Not gonna lie, I didn't eat the meringue. Because I hate meringues. But I was hoping that the ratio of meringue to creme bruelee would be more equal, y'know? Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the light flavour of the apple-flavoured ice and the much thicker, much creamier consistency of the creme brulee (not pictured because was inside of poo-shaped meringue obvs). AND I WAS A FAN OF THE CREME BRULEE. It was good.

In all? Great buzzing atmosphere, you get to feel like you're in the upper echelons for about an hour and a half while eating great pork/lamb (seriously delicious) and end the night with a casual reminder of what you truly deserve in life = poo (as if you didn't see that coming). But seriously, I had a fantastic time dining at Chiltern Firehouse, and it's a marvelous place for extra-special occasions or a birthday or anniversary, but remember to book in advance because they're especially busy! I'd definitely recommend bringing your rich uncle whom you want to suck up to so you can get into the family will, or just a pleasant family meal if you ever chance by the Marylebone area! It's slightly pricey, but definitely worth splashing the cash if you're feeling like a true treat :)

I wish I could say I got paid to write this, but I didn't because would a serious food critic write about poo-shaped desserts (they so would)?

What is everyone's plans this week? Have you been to fancy establishments such as this one? Or just chat below! I realise this is a drastic change from my previous post about frolicking through lavender but when it comes to food... no one shall stop me. Holler at me if you agree.
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