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This modern British bistro has a secret weapon in Andrew Evans, a chef who has spent 20 years working alongside many London greats, including Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Angela Hartnett – experience that is evident here. With a relaxed atmosphere, and despite decor reminiscent of 80s fine dining, Hatchetts is on to a very good thing. To start we chose scorched mackerel paired with apple and fennel purée and mackerel tartare, presented with fastidious precision. A soup-like celeriac risotto was delicious, filled with soft-braised snails and infused with plenty of garlic. For mains, chicken-glazed cod with steamed cockles and clams was rich yet incredibly light. The umami-like taste of the dish makes it a winner, minus the unappealingly salty seaweed jelly that accompanies it. Other mains include ribeye on the bone with Lyonnaise potatoes and bone marrow gravy, and caramelised onion tart with roasted baby beets, braised courgette and rosary ash goats’ cheese. We devoured a dessert of dark chocolate marquise paired with a cherry sorbet that packs a sweet, fruity punch and cuts through the richness of the chocolate. If we haven’t already given you reason enough to visit Hatchetts then go for the cherry sorbet alone. A succinct, French-heavy wine list and inventive cocktail selection add another dimension to this excellent, reasonably priced newcomer.
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