THE ARTISAN BISTRO, CHELSEA
Another day. Another dinner in London after work. I was invited along to review The Artisan Bistro in Chelsea recently with a +1 and I'll just say it now... it's one of the nicest restaurants I have ever been to.
Chelsea has always been one of my favourite places in London. The houses, the people, the shops - is there anywhere else in this city where you can feel any more fabulous?
Based a ten minute walk from Earls Court tube station, we arrived at The Artisan Bistro at 7pm and was greeted by a kind and welcoming waitress who seated us at the back of the restaurant next to the doors that open out onto an outside area with more dining tables.
We was presented with menus and ordered a glass of rose each (which was delicious!) and then the waitress explained that it may be a nice idea for us to try smaller taster menu size dishes so we could sample the majority of the menu. I loved this idea as it gave me the chance to really get to grips with the Mediterranean cuisine inspired menu.
Their renowned for their famous 'Lobster with Mac n Cheese' dish which we was both intrigued to try as we have always wanted to try lobster; so this was the perfect chance to try it!
Whilst we waited, we was given some fresh, warm bread and olives. I've never been a fan of olives even though everyone in my family absolutely love them! However, I decided to give these lemon marinated olives a try (£2.50) and I actually liked them so couldn't believe it! Is this a new thing for me?! We will have to see the next time the olive jar makes an appearance at the dinner table...
The first two dishes arrived! Grilled prawns with squid ink polenta (£12.00) were placed infront of us and I actually couldn't wait to try them as I realised in Lanzarote that I actually love prawns! The squid ink is something I was very hesitant to try but it was actually okay and a nice accompaniment for the prawns.
Then there was the West Mersea oysters (£19.00) with cubes of avocado and a spicy sauce drizzled on top. We had both never tried oysters before and I'll be honest... the thought of having one made me feel a little queasy but I'm all for trying new things so we both gave them a go!
Unfortunately, I didn't like them. I like spicy foods but the mix of a vinegary sauce with a spicy one wasn't something my tastebuds could handle very well! However, the cubes of avocado went down a treat. My mum actually liked them and she was pleasantly surprised that she did too.
The next two dishes shortly arrived and were definitely my two favourite ones we tried. Crispy aubergines (£6.50) drizzled in a soy and caramel sauce. They were SO good. Crunchy on the outside but so soft and warm on the inside.
We then had the Cheese and Spinach pie (can't find this on the menu for a price!) which... OH MY GOODNESS. If you're a massive cheese and spinach lover like myself; then this is definitely something you HAVE to try. I fully expected it to be fluffy and sickly but it was actually really moreish and was so nice with the aubergines.
Time for mains! We both shared two and again; it was so nice to be given the chance to try everything!
A 28 days matured rib eye steak from Mother's farm in Scotland was presented on a chopping board with a pot of Bearnaise sauce, roasted baby tomatoes and two silver tin pots of fries. One was plain fries and one was truffle fries - again; absolutely amazing for choices!
I am incredibly fussy when it comes to any kind of meat being cooked for me. I'm the weird one that will always check that my chicken and sausages AREN'T PINK and will always request my beef is cooked 'well done'. Well, this time I forgot to put in my special (and fussy) request; but it arrived medium and only some strips were a little pink. The steak was juicy, succulent and so made chewing 10 times easier. I had never tried truffle chips either but oh my ... SO good!
We was very excited to see that the second main meal to try was their famous Lobster Mac'n'Cheese (£16.50) which is cooked with 3 different types of cheeses, teeny strips of lobster (barely visible - excellent for someone who isn't too keen on seafood) and is then popped into the oven and comes out golden and bubbling. It was delicious and I highly recommend trying this!
We was feeling pretty stuffed up to this point (as you can imagine - so much food, right?!) but isn't funny how there is ALWAYS room for desserts?
The Artisan Bistro only have 3 different desserts on their menu and an ice-cream and sorbet option too. It would be nice to see some more options on their menu but I wasn't complaining about the ones they presented to us.
Rhubarb Crumble (£6.00) with vanilla ice-cream and Mini Chocolate Souffle with vanilla ice-cream (£6.00) were placed infront of us; aswell as a little pot of strawberry ice-cream too incase we got sick of vanilla! They were so yummy and truly hit the spot. I'm a big chocolate fan so I much preferred the soufflé; whereas my mum really enjoyed the rhubarb crumble.
We ended up staying for more drinks for a couple of hours and ended up having a really lovely chat and hangout with the owner and the waitresses. It was really nice because I felt the staff really valued me being in their restaurant and they really went out of their way to make the effort with me as a blogger and that's something I really appreciate.
We have been invited back and we shall be definitely popping a date in the diary one day soon because where else am I supposed to get my Lobster Mac'n'Cheese fix?!
The Artisan Bistro is a fantastic restaurant which I highly recommend if you enjoy seafood and fish dishes. The food is cooked to an outstanding quality and is presented perfectly with a smile. We was made to feel very welcome and was well looked after from the moment we walked in to the moment we sadly had to leave. It's the perfect place for dinner after work, a mid week date with your beau or even for the lunch menu on the weekends.
The Artisan Bistro,
14 Hollywood Rd,
020 7460 0875
Disclaimer: Dinner for me and a +1 was offered in exchange for an honest review on my blog. As always, all opinions and photographs are my own.