Inexpensive, but impeccably fresh, eats in stylish Chiswick
Where? Sam’s Brasserie, 11 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick, London W4 4PH (020 8987 0555, www.samsbrasserie.co.uk)
Who’s Sam? Formerly Rick Stein’s GM in Padstow, Sam Harrison set up his namesake brasserie in Chiswick back in 2005 – and has been reaping praise from critics and locals alike ever since.
Anyone got anything bad to say? Not that’s documented. The notoriously hard-to-please AA Gill has praised the ‘sourcing of some extremely good ingredients’, while The Times’ Giles Goren claimed, ‘If it were within a mile of my home, I’d go three times a week.’ Sam’s has also won a Time Out Award for Best Local Restaurant and an Evening Standard Award for Best Value Restaurant.
And what did you think? I’d be happy to go three times a week, too!
What’s the big draw? The aforementioned seasonal ingredients are hard to fault, as is the ever-changing menu, ensuring no two visits need be exactly the same. There are also some excellent set menus including a £21, three-course Sunday lunch, and, in the evenings, two courses for £15 or three for £18.
So what’s everyone eating? For starters, buffalo mozzarella with broad beans, pea shoots and mint and lemon dressing was the perfect example of Sam’s chefs taking simple ingredients and whipping them up into a spectacular dish. A main of herb-crusted rainbow trout with crushed potatoes and spinach, from the Sunday set menu, meanwhile, made a delicious second course, while the chocolate and hazelnut ice cream sundae I’d ordered for dessert was so good my fellow diners polished it off in less time than it took me to rush to the ladies and back. Thankfully, the boyfriend hadn’t had a chance to eat his lemon meringue pie with blackcurrant sorbet (so intent had he been on snaffling my sundae), so I gulped that down instead.
To drink? The wine list is extensive, with plenty of whites, rosés and reds available by the glass, 500ml carafe or bottle. Prices start from an affordable £14.50 a bottle, with Rick Stein’s selection – a favourite here – around the £25 mark.
Need to know? Sam’s Brasserie & Bar is open Monday to Sunday from 9am until midnight.