Five Fields opened in May 2013, tucked away in a Chelsea terrace. It was established by Taylor Bonnyman, who had in the past worked as a chef at Daniel and Corton in New York and with Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. He leads the kitchen alongside head chef Marguerite Keogh, who previously worked at Marcus and with the Gordon Ramsay group. Five Fields has held a Michelin star since 2017.
The format for dinner was tasting menu only, priced at £135, with cheese an optional extra at £15. For detailed notes on the extensive wine list see my previous review. There are some relative bargains tucked away, such as the excellent Clos Rougeard Les Poyeaux 2011 at £210 compared to its current retail price of £290.
The meal began with an array of canapes. Smoked salmon with crème fraiche was served with a little tomato tuile in a bowl, alongside an excellent duck parfait with cranberry on a little spoon, and a black truffle custard tartlet. There was also a celeriac consommé with dashi stock. The duck parfait had lovely depth of flavour and the custard tart with truffle was a very interesting combination that worked very well. The celeriac consommé was also well made, the earthy celeriac flavour combining nicely with the dashi (16/20 for the canapes overall). Soda bread was made on the premises but there was also some very good sourdough from a company called Seven Seeded Artisan Bakery in Herefordshire.
The first formal course was beetroot grown in the kitchen garden. Red beetroot had been dehydrated and served with oyster sauce, dill and smoked eel, while white beetroot came with poached oyster, crème fraiche and oscietra caviar. The beetroot itself had plenty of flavour and the texture of the red one in particular was excellent, the accompanying elements contrasting nicely with the distinct flavour of the beetroot (15/20).
There was then a trio of little dishes themed around brassicas. Scallop roe and radish dumpling with kale and ginger was pleasant but for me the least interesting element. Better was a cooked scallop with cured turnip, which had very good natural sweetness and combined well with the earthy contrast of the turnip. A red cabbage mousse with radish and kale was an interesting idea, though I think I preferred cabbage in cooked form. Still, these were interesting dishes (14/20). Lobster tail was roasted and served with leek and black truffle sauce, while on the side was a leek and black truffle terrine, which possessed good acidity. The lobster was tender and the truffle sauce was excellent (16/20).
Jerusalem artichoke came with sunflower seeds and oxtail, alongside a lovely crisp that was flavoured with beef tendon that had been slow cooked and then deep fried. The artichoke was nicely enhanced by the deep flavour of the oxtail, and the little tendon crisp was a very clever and successful element (16/20). The main course was fallow deer saddle with swede and meadowsweet sauce, alongside a little sphere of black pudding that was particularly good. The venison was carefully cooked and had deep flavour, the sauce complementing the meat well (17/20).
Blood orange sorbet as a pre-dessert was actually slightly salted, which sounds odd but worked well enough (salted caramel chocolates work nicely. So why not?). This was quite refreshing and unusual (15/20). Rhubarb came as rhubarb meringue and sorbet with a rhubarb tuile, but the texture of the tuile was not quite right for me. It felt as if it should be crisp but was not, though the sorbet was very good (14/20).
Service was excellent, the staff friendly and knowledgeable and the parade of dishes arrived at a steady pace. My bill came to £407 a person but this was mostly wine. The tasting menu was £135, but we indulged this evening in some rarefied but relatively good value corners of the wine list, including sublime Arnaud Ente Clos des Ambre Meursault 2014, and the magnificent Cabernet Franc offerings of Clos Rougeard. We tried both the Les Poyeux 2011 and Le Bourg 2011, the latter being particularly impressive. All three of these wines, admittedly none of them exactly cheap, were actually below their current retail price. If you had the tasting menu and shared a modest bottle of wine then a more typical bill with service might be around £180 a head. Overall, this was a very enjoyable evening, with an interesting menu executed with considerable technical skill.