Editor's note: in August 2014 it was announced that Harrison's had been sold and would become a branch of Foxlow.
Harrison’s is under the same ownership as Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick. It has a lively atmosphere, with an open kitchen and several dining areas, seating up to 90 people in all. There is a tiled floor and no tablecloths, with paper napkins, in line with the bistro feel. The British menu has starters from £5 - £7.50, main courses £10.50 - £17.50, sides are £3 and desserts around £5. There is a three course lunch menu for just £15 (two courses are £12). The two page wine list starts with a glass at £3.75, with examples such as Pirie Pinot Gris 2007 at £28 for a wine that costs around £9 to buy, Alameda Sauvignon Blanc at £15.50 for a wine that will set you back around £7 in the shops, up to Chateau Musar at £41.50 for a wine costing around £15 retail.
The chef is Dan Edwards, who was at one time head chef at Launceston Place. The bread served is thick slices of brown bread, bought in from a north London bakery called Flourish; this was pleasant enough though needed more salt in my view (13/20 bread). A trio of generous salt cod croquettes were golden brown and served with a nice aioli. The croquettes themselves relied on their good texture more than inherent taste, and for me could have been seasoned more, but were fine (12/20). Mackerel was seared, tasted pleasant and was served with correctly cooked (but again not obviously seasoned) cauliflower, and a few capers, which provided a little piquant saltiness that was welcome (12/20).
Grilled salmon fillet was served with fennel, tomatoes, baby gem lettuce and garlic cream. Again technique was fine, the elements cooked correctly, but the ingredients did not have a great deal of flavour, so the garlic cream with them was a welcome addition (12/20). I tried the cheeseburger, served with crisp lettuce and a home-made tomato chutney, alongside matchstick chips; the burger was fine and cooked as requested, though the meat itself was more of a vehicle for the relish than having a lot of character in itself (12/20). Some spring greens on the side were cooked nicely, retaining some firmness of texture (13/20).
For dessert, tarte tatin was made with Braeburn apples and had good, light pastry, though the raspberry clotted cream seemed to me an odd choice – why raspberry with apple? The apples were pleasantly caramelised, and this was a good 14/20 level tart. This was better than a Affrogato, vanilla ice cream with espresso coffee poured over it, which suffered from surprisingly tasteless vanilla ice cream (this last bought in, though from a reputedly good source) that seemed to me to need stronger vanilla taste (11/20). Coffee was fine.
Service was very good, with our waiter (Phil) attentive, efficient and friendly. Overall this was a very pleasant evening, with a consistent level of technical skill displayed in the kitchen, and an appealing menu. It could be improved further by a greater emphasis on higher grade ingredients. The place was packed out on the evening of our visit, and the waiting staff seemed well-drilled, the atmosphere welcoming and enjoyable.