Blue Plate is a simple local place, an evening-only adjunct to the Outsider Tart cake shop on the Chiswick High Road. The décor is sparse, with a few outside seats in good weather. The cooking is firmly that of the American south, so expect things like grits and chilli on the daily changing menu.
Crayfish cheesecake was an odd-sounding idea that somehow worked: the crayfish was tender, mixed with onions and sautéed peppers folded into a cheesecake mixture with a Parmesan crust. There was a spicy note that pulled the dish through (12/20). Fried green tomatoes were exactly that, covered in batter, deep-fried and served with a regular tomato sauce. This was simple but pleasant enough (11/20).
Fillet steak with was much less successful. The steak was cooked to medium but had little flavour, covered in onions and garlic and under-seasoned. It was accompanied by sludgy corn grits (9/20). Better was catfish, deep-fried and served with creamed corn and a buttermilk biscuit. This was pleasant enough, the corn enjoyable and the biscuit clearly made from scratch (11/20).
For dessert, an almond cheesecake was fine, with pleasing texture and good flavour (12/20). This was better than peaches coated in almonds and pan-seared, drizzled with raspberry sauce. The mix of cold peach and hot sauce was rather peculiar, and the peach flavour was rather lost (10/20).
Service was friendly and adequate for a simple, neighbourhood restaurant, though staff were hazy on who had ordered what, something that some pretty basic high street chains manage to do right. The bill came to £28 a head (plus tip) for the food alone, as we brought our own wine. If you ordered one of the four different bottles of wine on offer then a cost per head all in would be perhaps £43. This felt a stretch for the level of food that appeared. The chef/owner is charming but this meal was not one of his better ones. This meal was considerably worse than my previous experiences here, which is a shame as I have a possibly irrational fondness for the place, surviving as an independent in a high street increasingly being dominated by chain restaurants.