Every now and then I find a real treasure somewhere unexpected, and that happened when I visited The Artisan Bistro in Chelsea. It was less than a 10 minute walk from Earl’s Court station, down a quiet residential street. As soon as we walked through the door, we were made to feel incredibly welcome – the kind of hospitality I remember from Cyprus which is sadly often lacking in London.
We decided to take a seat out in the adorable garden at the back, surrounded by lavender and other plants, even grape vines!
We kicked off proceedings with raspberry mojitos, which was the perfect refreshing tipple for the summer evening, along with some bread and marinated olives to snack on.
Something that really excited me before visiting this restaurant was the menu, which I’d had a peek at online. Obviously you’re only going to visit a restaurant if the food appeals to you, but this was my dream menu – a fantastic range of delicious-sounding small plates, and meat and fresh fish galore! It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what the cuisine is – it’s largely Mediterranean, with local influences.
The dishes all sounded so great that we found it hard to choose – we eventually settled on three small plates to share for starters – Crispy Aubergine in Soy Caramel, Sauteed Padron Peppers in an Orange & Sherry drizzle and Boquerones (marinated anchovies, red onion & toasted bread).
All of these dishes were gorgeous, especially the aubergine. Tim isn’t usually a huge fan of aubergine so this was definitely my choice, but he couldn’t get enough of them! Definitely something to try out at home. Everything was beautifully cooked and the flavours were rich and delicious.
At this point we were served a glass of white wine each, recommended to us by the owner, Plamen, based on the dishes we’d chosen for our main courses.
The first of these was a Chablis from Hamelin, Burgundy, to go with Tim’s Whole Grilled Seabream, and the second was a Pinot Gris from Le Chapitre, to complement my Scottish Lobster with Black Linguine, Mussels, Prosecco and Truffle Butter.The Artisan Bistro has a wine selection from many small artisanal and iconic producers offering 40 unique wines by the glass.
I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise at this point that both of these wines, and both main courses, were superb. It was refreshing to see the fish being served whole, with the head – it’s a big pet hate of mine when fish is already filleted (often done very poorly!) and you end up with barely anything left! The linguine dish was fantastic, with very generous portions of both lobster and mussels. It didn’t feel like there was a huge amount truffle butter, but I don’t think this mattered – it was already very rich and had plenty of flavour.
And just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, the desserts emerged from the kitchen, as recommended by Plamen – a chocolate fondant and a rhubarb crumble, both with ice cream. We were also served Plamen’s special dessert drink – a chilled amaretto.
These were also fab – the crumble was a little ‘thin’ (I like a good, deep crumble with a lot of topping) but it was still very good. As always, Tim polished off the chocolate dessert very quickly, this is becoming an ongoing husband-wife restaurant battle!!
We’ll definitely be returning to The Artisan Bistro. There was such a superb range of very moreish dishes at very reasonable prices considering the quality of the food and service, and the location. It’s quite a small and cosy restaurant, so make sure to book to avoid disappointment!
To find out more, you can visit their website here.
I was invited to review the restaurant by The Artisan Bistro and Forever PR but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.