Open Mon–Fri midday–3pm and 6pm–10pm, Sat and Sun midday–10pm
The newest addition to the First Restaurant Group, The Chesterfield, fits into its elegant surroundings effortlessly. With classic wooden floorboards, ambient lighting and aged red leather chesterfield sofas (naturally) it has a sophisticated yet welcoming feel. The easy-listening music playing quietly in the background offers a very different experience to some of its noisy neighbours.
Having only officially opened a month ago this is already a popular neighbourhood haunt. When we arrived at 7pm the bar area was filling up with locals enjoying sophisticated cocktails and by 8pm the restaurant was comfortably busy.
Chef Ricky Pang has devised a good-sized food menu, although it is somewhat lacking in vegetarian options. I started with the salt and pepper squid (£7.50) which arrived thinly-sliced and delicately coated; far from the rubbery, tasteless squid you so often find in pubs. The homemade dipping sauce gave it a lively kick. My friend chose the crispy aromatic duck spring rolls (£5.75), the casing itself was slightly too dense but the duck was tender and was complimented by an addictively rich hoi-sin sauce.
For mains we shared the caramelized tiger prawns (£11.50) which were cooked with peppers in a sweet salsa. Despite the prawns being deliciously moist, the dish felt a little too simple and was slightly lacking in flavour. We also tried the char-grilled lamb rump which was elegantly served in small slices and came with a punchy wasabi sauce. Despite ordering the lamb to be cooked medium it was closer to well-done but it still managed to maintain a tender texture and the sauce made an otherwise quite plain dish interesting.
For desert, the chocolate fondant (£6) was baked to perfection and happily performed the picture-perfect ooze. The pistachio and vanilla crème brûlée (£5.50) was as indulgent, yet not too heavy, and came with light, home-baked brandy snap biscuits.
You can’t come to this pub without a cocktail or two. The tempting menu features a mix of classics and more creative numbers. My C.C.C (Classic Champagne Cocktail, £9) was crisp with a real kick to it.
There’s also have a good wine menu with house bottles at just £14.50. We however chose a delicious New Zealand Sauvignon (£27); its tropical fruity flavours complimented the pan-Asian dishes perfectly.
The Chesterfield has made a fantastic start after just one month. It already has the looks, a loyal local following and great staff. It just needs to make sure every dish leaving the kitchen is worthy of being on the menu and executed to its potential and it could become a winning local.