The Chiltern Firehouse

Visit Date: 13/08/2015

Score: 31/50

Booked some 3 months in advance, what is apparently the hottest ‘it’ restaurant of the moment, we tried to focus on the fact that it was a dining experience rather than a ‘I’m so cool to be here experience’. Our taxi door was opened by a young lad in casual attire who we think worked there.!… He didn’t want the taxi… Maybe it’s a new craze of earning extra pocket money on the streets of London? Anyway as we weren’t the Beckhams we were swiftly ushered inside.
Maybe we are becoming too judgemental in our scoring now… I gave it -1 straight away as every bloke who worked there had a silly beard thing going on. Fashionable? No idea. Annoying. Yes! Shaf gave it -2 from the off as every lady who worked there was at least 4 inches taller than him. Billesh gave it minus scores as there were several beautiful ladies dining there with ugly blokes….. It’s called money mate! We all gave it another -2 as we couldn’t see Scarlett Johansson or Megan Fox on the neighbouring table. Not even Rylan from Big Brother! How disappointing. Maybe the food and service could redeem it?…. That is why we were here after all.
We have a debate everytime we go to another restaurant to if the service would be different if we all were suited and booted, or in this instance sported silly beards. I argue yes. We were casual smart but I feel as though the staff needed a suit or celeb in front of them to get their fullest attentions…. Ah I forgot… We were lucky to be there being waited on by them. This attitude was exemplified when a waiter kindly offered to pour out the remaining champagne for us, but not before rightly asking if our tardy fifth member would like it instead for when he arrived. Having said ‘no please pour on’ he then remarked back saying ‘late for dinner at the Chiltern firehouse! Doesn’t deserve any! Yeah HaHa but Mits would be late for his own funeral and thus were we equating the Chiltern Firehouse to the heavenly afterlife? I wouldn’t have put it past the waiter.
The menu was nice. We started with a few nibbles; Crab doughnuts…. Pretty good. North East English & La Rochelle Oysters…. Good. Bacon Cornbread….. Not bad especially with the buttery dip. Fried Chicken bites….. Flipping horrible.

Again trying something different I had for starter Australian Truffle with a courgette salad, in Aussie colours, with Sheeps yogurt and almonds. Actually very tasty and my foodie highlight.
My overall highlight of the evening was when BC innocently asked ‘did this used to be a fire station with fire engines?’ “Yes! Hence the name!!” ‘Oh, I thought it was how they cooked their food??’ ‘Where’s the pole then? … “BC… Look behind you!”
Trying not to have steak for a main I went with the Chargrilled Iberico Pork. With mashed sweet potatoes and syrup, fries, green beans and buttered corn. All very tasty although not exceptional. I was most pleased that they gave us proper meat knives though. +1 there!
Service continued to be distinctly average and I still felt apologetic that I wasn’t a premiership footballer. They probably deserved my seat much more than me.
To finish we had various deserts. An Almond froth thingie and a dark chocolate cherry torte. Both very tasty and I think personally they capped off a very enjoyable food experience.
However everything else let it down. Too pretentious, too many people wanting to be seen and acknowledged as ‘cool’, and staff that obviously knew better than us. Again this was shown when we split the bill….. I’m pretty sure the waiter shook his head in disgust at having to use the card machine. Then being asked to put on the first card a certain particular amount, approximately an equal spilt, he proceeded to find a calculator and split it exactly and entered that on the card machine, NOT what we had asked for. Petty maybe but firstly WE choose how we split it. Secondly don’t assume that we all will leave the full discretionary service charge. Some may tip more or less or none at all. But no he knew best and after even remarking that we wanted to perhaps pay different amounts he stood firm, thought we were joking, and proceeded to wait for His amount to be paid. Maybe we look like we don’t know what we are doing but with several degrees and masters between us I’m pretty sure we are competent enough to work out how much we want to pay.
Ok. Back off my high horse now. I am glad we went. One needs to experience everything to be able to comment fairly on any situation. The food was good but no where near the standard of a fine dining restaurant. However service, attitudes, silly beards….. Go if your famous and want to be in a tabloid or if your ‘special’….. Don’t bother otherwise.

1 Chiltern Street,
W1U 7PA,
020 7073 7676