From Brentford to Burchetts Green

Saturday, March 16th , 2019

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The Watermans Arms in Brentford, very near the river, has a landlord and chef who is married to a Japanese wife and used to live in Japan. This background is why the menu features a few Japanese izakaya dishes in addition to the usual pub staples. I am quite fond of the place, and although it is not a destination dining destination the food is good, the welcome warm and the prices low.

I had a lovely meal at The Crown at Burchetts Green, where a solo chef produces Michelin-starred French food from a tiny kitchen, starting out each week with a completely empty fridge. The food uses high quality produce and the chef shows excellent classical cooking technique, such as with a lovely fillet of beef that has been steamed over a boiling stock pot, served with root vegetables and a pair of fine sauces. Desserts are classy here too, this week including a superb rhubarb baba. Prices are ridiculously low for the quality of the food here, and the family-run place has real charm. 

I had another fine meal at The Ritz in Piccadilly (pictured), which possesses perhaps the grandest dining room in London. The meal this week was superb, with exceptional Scottish langoustines and a fine turbot dish with early season white asparagus and morels. The food here is top class, as is the service operation, and was streets ahead of my recent meal at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, which is given three stars by Michelin to the Ritz one star – crazy. 

In response to a conversation on Twitter I dug out my notes from 1997 on a long-closed restaurant, The Restaurant Marco Pierre White, in the days before he started shilling Knorr stock cubes and delivering high street horrors like “Frankie’s”. This review is just a bit of pure restaurant nostalgia for anyone that may be interested.