Chiltern Firehouse

International·
££££
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Gold Award
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SquareMeal Review of Chiltern Firehouse

Gold Award

For somewhere with such a fearsomely cool reputation, Chiltern Firehouse makes you feel cosy and comforted, even on light, long summer nights. With candles flickering on every table, panelled walls and plush velvet seating, the experience feels relaxed and familiar while retaining a high-end edge.

Staff are, as you’d expect, totally professional and able to reel off their favourite dishes while including notes on flavour nuances and drink-pairing suggestions in the same breath.

With its reputation as a star-spotting-hub par excellence, it feels only right to indulge in the image of an A-lister and dress up (and save up) to come here. The full experience comes at a hefty price, but an evening of multiple courses and cocktails is nearly guaranteed to leave you feeling spoiled, even if you’re footing the bill. 

Snacks are undoubtedly the best part of any menu and Chiltern excels here, so much so that it’s hard to choose. Just to be safe, we ordered nearly one of everything. The famous crab doughnuts are filled with sweet white meat, savoury curry oil and a pinch of crispy fried shallots. Elsewhere there’s corn bread that’s cooked in bacon fat, pillowy and soft like a cake, served with a sour cream dip laced with crisp bacon pieces and topped, of course, with caviar; or there’s the ultimate crowd pleaser: Korean fried chicken (or KFC to its friends).

The meal proper continues in the same luxurious vein. Order some lobster tacos pepped up with green salsa, made with curious vegetal and bright tomatillo fruits, before abandoning yourself to the house special of Iberico pork. Cooked so that the meat still blushes, this is accompanied by two almond-based molé sauces: a simple pairing that conceals the complex flavours of Mexican spices. 

To toast your ordering success there’s a wine list that galivants across the world and throws up bottles from Austria to Argentina (a dry, fruity 2017 Gruner Veltliner and an intense 2016 Malbec respectively). For those behaving themselves, we also enjoyed a ‘Lavender Fields’ mocktail that combined lavender and elderflower with lime and ginger ale for a tart take on the taste of Parma Violets – though really, this legendary party palace is not the place to abstain; excess on all fronts is the name of the game at Chiltz.  

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
International
Eat at Home
Home delivery, Takeaway service
Ambience
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury, Romantic
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Celeb-spotting, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About Chiltern Firehouse

When it opened in 2014, Chiltern Firehouse was the first restaurant since Scott’s to cross over from being a must-visit in the reasonably niche world of upmarket restaurant-goers to become a bona fide cultural event, its name known to the sort of people who might never dream of eating in a posh West End dining room.

The initial tsunami of celebrity may have slowed to a trickle but the hotel upstairs remains a favourite of visiting A-listers and means that you’re still likely to see a famous face in the dining room. But even if your meal isn’t dusted with a sprinkling of stardust, there’s still much to enjoy here.

Punters adore the clever outdoor-themed interiors and the lively atmosphere, which brings an infectious energy to proceedings. We also love the subtle nods to the venue’s original incarnation as a fire station, with ceiling patterns inspired by hoses and a fireman’s pole forming the centrepiece of one corner table.

Right on cue, the open kitchen serves up wave after wave of likeable successes. Snacks such as the famous coral-dusted crab doughnut kick things off nicely, but there are other highlights too: BBQ pork skewers are served with brown-butter mayo, flaky salmon is cooked tandoori-style and complemented by a puddle of cooling lime yoghurt, cucumber and puffed rice, while a plate of burrata is given a summery makeover thanks to piles of juicy heritage tomato and a lively chilli jam.

Early risers pack in for breakfast (courgette and spinach scrambled eggs topped with aged Parmesan), freelancers take advantage of the indulgent lunchtime offers (Ibérico pork with red pepper mayo and barbecued peach on toast, say) and we’d also recommend a pre/post-meal trip to the botanically themed bar for cheekily named cocktails (hotel guests are given priority, but it’s easier to slip in on quiet nights).

Location for Chiltern Firehouse

1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 7PA

020 7073 7676

Website

Opening Times

Breakfast
Mon 07:00-10:30
Tue 07:00-10:30
Wed 07:00-10:30
Thu 07:00-10:30
Fri 07:00-10:30
Sat 08:00-10:00
Sun 08:00-10:00
Brunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 11:00-15:00
Sun 11:00-15:00
Lunch
Mon 12:00-15:00
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon 17:30-22:30
Tue 17:30-22:30
Wed 17:30-22:30
Thu 17:30-22:30
Fri 17:30-22:30
Sat 18:00-22:30
Sun 18:00-22:00

Reviews of Chiltern Firehouse

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21 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

KW

Staff with bad attitude
26 September 2019  

Our dining experience / evening was totally spoilt by rude staff with poor attitude. I can honestly say I’ve had far better customer service from fast food outlets. The food is ok though a little expensive. The ambience is definitely the draw card but definitely not worth the overall poor experience.

 

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

02 July 2019  
Ambience & service - food.

Sian D

28 June 2019  
Outstanding service and food quality.

Alana F

30 March 2019  
Always one of my London faves for the relaxed atmosphere, interesting crowd and laid-back charm. I love the hotel bar for a post-dinner drink and the ambience is lovely.

Catriona J

27 June 2018  
Fabulous food, great drinks and cocktails, really great dã©cor..and a charming outdoor area.

Alana F

27 June 2018  
It offers a cosy atmosphere and is a great place to connect with friends. I love the relaxed setting and the service is fab. I love that fact that you can remain in one place and have the option for counter dining as well as table dining (and head to the bar (or even secret hotel bar) for post drinks.

Donna S

27 June 2018  
Amazing food, good service, nice ambience and surroundings - loved it!

Paul M

19 May 2017  
Fun, tasty, great for celeb spotting.

Paul P

Lives up to the hype
05 February 2017  
Clearly on the hot list for celeb spotters but reality is this is actually not a bad spot whether entertaining clients or out with friends. I've done the private room and a table out on the restaurant floor. Both have attentive staff, great food and great overall ambience. Booking staff can be a little snobby but that probably goes with the turf.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Patrick B

Brilliant! Handle with care.
25 January 2017  
Visiting most recently in early January 2017, and it was once again superb. The thing is that one has to "buy into" the concept. For a later seating you will probably have to plan for a drink in the bar before. It is quite festive (read: party-like) it can get quite loud and the concept appears to foresee a balance between Nuno Mendes' fantastic food a truly good wine list and restaurant that conveys a youthful sense of occasion. I could understand if someone doesn't like it, I can also see lots of diners "having an unlucky experience". Do not come here for the first time for an important date or meeting. You have to see how this place is and works. Also it is not at all corporate, I would not come here for a standard business lunch - it is a complex and special place. The food, if you like modern fine dining is out of this world. Light and extreme attention to detail, but it sometimes seems secondary to the overall experience, which in its own right is a pity. But there are bar seats opposite the open kitchen (think L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon) which might be for the out-and-out foodie. Then there is the bill. Two things, you can always deduct a return ticket to LA from the total and if it still seems steep, at least the fire brigade will be on hand at least in spirit to put out that smouldering credit card...
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value
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