Editor's note: Charlotte's Bistro closed in November 2019. Its older sister restaurant in Ealing closed earlier in 2019.
The skylight at the back of the upstairs dining room at Charlotte’s place means that the otherwise simple dining room has plenty of natural light, and is an attractive space in which to eat. The bar is downstairs and always seems popular. A starter of gin-cured salmon topped with confit lemon was pleasant enough, but the pickling huices used for teh pickled cucumber puree were insufficently bold, meaning that this did not have enough bite to work with the quite sweet confit lemon (11/20).
At this meal a salad (£7.50) of endive (chicory), walnut, Shropshire blue cheese and both raw and charred pear was very pleasant, the quite strong flavours combining well (13/20). Chicken with turnip puree (£16.50) came with a sherry dressing. The bird was cooked carefully, though as ever in the UK lacked much in the way of flavour, while the sherry dressing usefully balanced the earthiness of the turnips (13/20).
Strawberries (£6) with burnt butter cream and vanilla has a good strawberry sorbet, but the presentation of the cream in an eggshell did not add anything, and I have no idea why a chef would leave stalks in the strawberries (12/20). Cofffee was decent. With just water to drink the bill came to about £35 a head. If you shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical bill would be more like £60 a head with service. Service is very good here, friendly and capable. Charlotte’s place is a good neighbourhood restaurant, and I find the food slightly more enjoyable under Lee Cadden than that of his predecessors.