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|Address:||11 Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4PH|
|Tel:||020 3589 2741|
|Price: £41.00||Wine: £16.50||Champagne: £43.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 9am-12M (Thurs-Sat 00.30am Sun -11pm)|
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SAM’S BRASSERIE REVIEW
By Emma Wood
Welcome to 2010, the snow has finally gone and with Valentine’s Day round the corner, we’re all on the lookout for the perfect restaurant to spend with our loved ones.
I have discovered a very unique award winning restaurant which ticks all boxes for every occasion, be it with a large group of friends or an intimate evening with your partner. The restaurant is owned by Sam Harrison and co owned by Rebecca Mascarenhas and celebrity chef Rick Stein. Stein holds an OBE for his services to Cornish tourism and Sam Harrison was his manager at his Padstow seafood restaurant in Cornwall for four years. To watch an exclusive interview with Stein and Harrison, visit www.caterersearch.com/harrisons.
Sam’s Brasserie and bar, set in the centre of Chiswick in West London is where I dined recently and my latest recommendation. Tucked away in a pretty passage off Chiswick High Road, nearby landmarks include Tabard theatre and Chiswick House and the nearest tube stations are Chiswick Park Station (8 minutes away) and Turnham Green Tube station (9 minutes away.) Sam’s Brasserie won the Best Value Restaurant 2008 in the Evening Standard Awards and it certainly is very reasonably prized for a restaurant of this calibre in London.
As we were shown to our seats by our Italian waiter, Antonio, I took a moment to absorb the ambience and surroundings. The restaurant was a former paper factory and it retains its very unique and sophisticated style with its airy industrial space, all exposed brickwork, pipes on the ceiling and concrete floors whist at the same time holding a brasserie feel of banquettes and wooden tables. It is a very spacious split-level restaurant that seats up to 100 people and is trendy, modern with a lively, upbeat, bustling feel and was full of apprecative diners.
Our waiter brought us a range of three breads whist we pondered our paper place mat menus. Incidentally, the menu is dated as some dishes are changed daily.
The alcohol is very cheap and the bar serves a wide range of alcoholic beverages including Czech beer on tap, ales, spirits, champagne, and red, white or rose wine to accompany your meal including Rick Stein’s own wines from Australia. The wine list is outstanding, ranging from £14.50-£155. We had a bottle of French red Chateau de Chanas 2007 which was exquisite.
The menu focuses primarily on modern British brasserie food and the restaurant opens for breakfast through to late evening dining and drinks. At the weekends, breakfasts and brunches are served from 9am. There is a brasserie and set lunch/evening menu and daily soups and fish specials. There is a separate bar food menu for less formal dining, while the Sunday lunch and children’s menu also make it a perfect family restaurant.
To start with, I ordered chicken liver pate and toast with salad and glorious grape chutney. I also sampled the mozzarella and vine-ripened tomatoes which were equally devine.
For my main course, I opted for confit duck with sweet potato mash, curly kale and orange jus with a side dish of broccoli and pine nuts. The meal was exciting and bursting with flavour. The duck just fell of the bone and was cooked to perfection.
I also sampled the Rib-Eye steak with a splash of béarnaise sauce (also available with pepper corn sauce) and if you appreciate your steak, trust me, this steak was wonderful.
For dessert, we ordered panettone bread and butter pudding with custard and a chocolate surprise with vanilla ice cream, but we were curious as to what the passion fruit treat with raspberry marsh mellow was. To our surprise, our waiter brought us not 1 pudding, but 2 each, so I got to try 3 puddings in one night, result! All three were amazing, but as recommended by Antonio, the waiter, the chocolate ball with gooey chocolate was out of this world and I’d go so far as to say the best pudding I’ve ever had.
I finished the night of nicely with a pot of fresh mint tea and sat back in my chair content with a lovely meal.
The menus at Sam’s feature everything from light salads to more hearty meals and typical dishes on the a la carte menu include a range of fish and vegetarian dishes with puddings to die for such as pistachio pannacotta with griottines cherries and chocolate nemesis cake with a milk chocolate parfait and mint cream.
Live jazz takes place in the bar every first and third Sunday evening of the month from 7-9 pm and features some of London’s leading artists. Acts to watch out for in 2010 include Elisa Caleb who recently released her debut album.
Younee who performed with the legendary Bob James with be performing on Sunday 7th February and Louise Golbey who performed at Glastonbury last year will be there on Sunday 7th March. Keep up to date with all the jazz artists performing at Sam’s by going on twitter at www.twitter.com/samsjazz.
Following the success of this restaurant which opened back in August 2005, Sam Harrison and duo team Rebecca Mascarenhas and Rick Stein went on to run Harrison’s restaurant in Balham back in 2007 which is also worth a visit. (5 minute walk from Balham station, southwest London.)
I would like to thank the restaurant manager Shelley Windell and all of her team at Sam’s for giving us a wonderful dining experience. Our waiter, Antonio was second to none and the service was impeccable. Full compliments go to the head chef, Ian Leckie who has turned simple cooking with good ingredients into the superb mouth watering dishes.
Sam’s Brasserie, 11, Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick, London. W4 4PH To reserve a table…call 020 8987 0555 (booking advised.) Check out their website at www.samsbrasserie.co.uk