From Piccadilly to Westfield

Saturday, November 02nd , 2019

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Copper Chimney (pictured) is the first UK venture for a large Indian restaurant group based in Mumbai that has a considerable empire covering restaurants, bars and wedding catering. They have opened in the approach to Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush, a location with plenty of food outlets, but up until now with nothing much more ambitious than Nando’s. Copper Chimney is surprisingly smartly decorated, and its large menu features some very good dishes, in particular some excellent tandoori lamb chops and genuinely classy romali roti. Prices are modest, and the place is doing a roaring trade. It is easy to sneer at restaurants located in Westfield, but given the vast amount of customers that Copper Chimney is already pulling in, and contrast this with many empty dining rooms in central London, the location choice may turn out to be quite astute. 

The Ritz has become my “go to” place for fine dining in London now that Hedone has closed. I enjoyed another excellent meal there this week, with a particularly good turbot dish with a superbly rich, creamy sauce. Canapes are top notch here, and so are desserts, and the product quality is high. It helps of course that the Ritz has considerable buying power and a vast kitchen team – there are a hundred chefs in the kitchen in all, though of course this is to handle not just the dining room but also afternoon tea, private functions etc. Michelin continue to score this as a one-star restaurant, which when you think about some of the truly mediocre places in London that get stars these days, is utterly absurd. It is clearly better than, say, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, which gets three stars.