My girlfriend and I both love Chapter One and rate it as our favourite restaurant, which says a lot because we both eat out a lot in and around London and usually make a beeline for places we have read good things about.
Since we first discovered Chapter One a couple of year ago and each visit just reinforces our view of how good it is.
The food, thanks to the magic touch of head chef Andrew McLeish, is some of the best you’ll find anywhere. His modern European menu might not offer as many dishes as some, but that is probably because he concentrates on producing quality rather than quantity.
On each occasion we have eaten there, Chapter One has never failed to impress, both with its food and the sensible pricing, which makes eating out there such an affordable and enjoyable occasion.
The staff are always welcoming and they know the menu inside out, a refreshing change form some establishments I have eaten in recently in the West End where we often get off-hand answers to any queries about the food. Too many restaurants seem to employ staff that they either don’t train, or don’t pay sufficiently well to take an interest in the product they are serving.
Chapter One for us is the ideal eatery; good food, sensible prices, friendly and efficient staff and comfortable, contemporary surroundings. You can’t ask a lot more of a restaurant than this.
We went there a couple of weeks ago for lunch and received the usual friendly welcome from the maitre d’. We had a drink at the bar while we looked through the menu and were told our table would be ready whenever we were. The last time we ate in London, an aggressive waiter practically insisted we finish our drinks immediately because our table was ready. In fact, we were almost dragged to the table.
Our meal was a delight. We opted for the Menu du Jour and my girlfriend started with basil marinated heirloom tomato salad with pecorino, basil cress. I went for potatoes, warm black pudding and apple salad with summer truffles and it was delicious.
For her main course my girlfriend ordered pan fried black bream with a cassoulet of coco beans, orange, pancetta and salsa verde and I went for roast hake with chorizo, tomato sauce and pilaf rice, scented with kaffir lime. We couldn’t fault either dish.
We finished by both having the dark chocolate tart with Kentish raspberries and vanilla ice cream.
Our bill came to £18.50 each for three courses and we paid £18.50 for a bottle of very good Chenin Blanc, 2009, Kleine Zalze, Stellenbosch.
For an eating out experience, which offers panache along with great food and professional service, Chapter One is in our opinion, unbeatable.