Chiltern Firehouse, found inside the hotel of the same name and owned by US super-hotelier, Andre Balazs, has been one of London’s stand-out restaurants in recent years. It might have something to do with the chic surrounds (the fire station was said to be one of the first purpose built fire stations in London). But we’d hazard a guess that it’s largely due to having Michelin-starred chef Nuno Mendes at the helm.
The Chiltern Firehouse serves up seasonally changing menus of dishes that cleverly blend influences and inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic. Breakfast here might be a Lobster and Crab Omelette (with potatoes, chervil and coral mayo) or a stack of buttermilk pancakes. Lunch, meanwhile, might start with Scottish Salmon Tartare served with Yorkshire rhubarb and sea herbs before moving on to Galician Beef Bavette (served with roasted squash, chimichurri and toasted pine nuts). Dinner could conjure anything from bacon cornbread and fried chicken to salt baked parsnip with a chervil emulsion, pickled onions and walnuts. It’s a tantalising prospect, and easy to see why so many of London’s taste-makers have flocked to the Chiltern Firehouse’s stylish surrounds.
There’s a dining room with intimate booths and banquettes, a long bar for cocktails and dinner-on-the-fly, and a swanky terrace where celebs and big wigs are known to eat, drink and unwind away from the public eye. To say that getting a reservation here is challenging is perhaps an understatement (unless you’re Kate Moss’ second cousin), but persevere and you will be rewarded. Balazs should be applauded for his efforts. Through the Chiltern Firehouse, he’s managed to make Marylebone cool again; dusting off its stuffy, upper middle class pretentiousness and sticking on it’s 6-inch heel dancing shoes.