Our Claire brings you a glowing London restaurant recommendation in case you’re looking for great places to eat in London
You know here at Yorkshire Pudd we’re true to Yorkshire, but these days us county folk are well travelled, so we know you’d like to hear a bit about where we go too. So, for our London readers or Yorkshire people on their travels to the big smoke, we’re going to tell you what we thought about a little place in Chiswick, London.
When I say life’s too short to eat in bad restaurants, I really mean it. Why would anyone choose to eat at a sub-par cafe, bar, bistro, gastro-pub, diner, restaurant or vending machine, when there are so so many options to get something fabulous all of the time?
Even grabbing a quick bite does not have to mean ‘making do’. There are so many places out there that are making the effort to deliver excellence that popping along to an over-priced and unenthusiastic chain or microwave-happy eatery should always be out of the question. Do you microwaving at home.
This is where Charlotte’s W4 comes in.
You could be forgiven, if you hadn’t done your homework, to dash into the most visible and familiar place for lunch while you’re in London. Just about. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find gems such as this one, which don’t only offer you something you won’t have had before, you’ll get super fresh ingredients put together by a talented and mindful chef with staff who really care. Don’t make the mistake of settling for anything less, because this is the kind of place where your reasonably-priced lunch just turned into the biggest treat of your week.
I tried out the new Daily Markets menu at Charlotte’s W4. The thinking behind this is simple. Every day there are different selections of dishes available, fresh from the markets so you’re getting seasonal fare, the wine is selected for you so you get to try something different that accompanies your dish perfectly, and you get a posh lunch for an astounding price. And I am all for posh lunches. Always.
This is London, nevertheless three courses will cost you £19.50, including a glass of wine. Or you can sit at the bar and have one quick course instead. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn-out affair gossiping for a couple of hours (although that’s always nicest). Easy peasy.
Let’s talk about the food. This is what my dining partner and I had:
Slow Cooked Ox Cheek. Crushed Roots. Brioche Crumb. Horseradish.
Jerusalem Artichoke Fricasse. Sweetcorn & Harissa Cream.
Blackberry Sorbet. Fruit Salad. Cassis.
Brioche Doughnut. Apple Compote. Salted Caramel. Calvados Cream.
Sounds pretty impressive doesn’t it? And it was. Our wine, which name escapes me now, was wonderful – German I think – and was nothing like I would have ever chosen, but ideal for that one long glass of white with lunch. What really came across was the freshness of the dishes – the salmon in particular was cooked to perfection – and how inventive and experimental it all was. It was unique and unforgettable.
Chef Lee Cadden clearly knows his stuff about flavours and knows how to show them off in hearty, yet light, dishes. I don’t even know what to say about the brioche doughnut. Just have it. If I had to find fault with what was otherwise my kind of ideal lunch, it was that the ox cheek was slightly under seasoned.
Charlotte’s W4 didn’t only stand out just for its food though. It also manages to be laid-back and welcoming while exuding class and style. The drinks menu alone is a delightful leather-bound chunk that has had so much thought poured into it that it adds to the simple elegance of the bistro. The staff were friendly, relaxed and super nice, and little extras such as sparkling and still water at the table made all the difference. What looks like a small restaurant from the front goes all the way back and opens up into a glass-roofed terrace. A nicer lunch in Chiswick you will not find. Especially at this price.