Coinciding with the London Fashion Week event, the latest and hottest hangout in London’s Marylebone, the Chiltern Firehouse was launched by renowned hotelier André Balazs. It is his most recent venture and has been housed in a fantastic 1889 Grade II-listed Victorian-gothic fire brigade building that has been renovated and transformed into 26 boutique hotel suites, a restaurant with open kitchen and a bar. The whole impact of the place is accentuated by the courtyard garden that serves as the lead into the building.
The décor of the restaurant is classy, elegant and well-ventilated although it still retains some traditional features of the past that are represented by the original firehouse ceiling and large firehouse doors. The rest is lit by filament light bulbs, brick tiles on the walls, wooden floors that spill over to tiled flooring and green velvet benches giving a very modern feel with traditional brasserie twists. Cosy bar seating have been provided at the open kitchen which has been elevated so that curious customers can see how the American and Portuguese-inspired dishes are prepared by Michelin star Chef Nuno Mendes – formerly of Viajante, and his team. The menu at the restaurant is contemporary as it presents beautifully crafted seasonal and ingredient-focused cooking. You can have starters such as Firehouse Caesar salad with crispy chicken skin and the char-grilled Iberico pork with roasted garlic and lemon.
There is a warning on the menu that reads: Do Not Read When Hungry. From snacks to kick off like crab-stuffed doughnuts, starters of fillets of squab breast with grains, chicory and a trio of redcurrants, mains including a slow-roasted short rib with hazelnut purée and bone marrow is heavenly and nattily tricked out with leaves and flowers and finishing up with a pudding of frozen apple panna cotta with herb granite and dried meringue.
The restaurant does not project itself to be exclusive as the environment in it is casual and inviting but it is expected that for the next couple of weeks, it may be difficult to get a table easily. It is also recommended that since it will stay that way, you should book the private booth with private fireplace before the spring sets in. The restaurant offers easy access to the bar giving the feeling of being at home while you are lounging in it.