16 – Review: Chiltern Firehouse – set my heart on fire.

It was only a few days ago that I was telling my friend how I’m just not excited by restaurants here in London anymore. Maybe my expectations are too high or my tastebuds are too picky but whatever the case, Chiltern Firehouse did it for me on all levels.

This old Marylebone firehouse has been converted to a hotel which will open in May and it’s restaurant has already opened it’s doors. The road that it’s in on, Chiltern Street, is a very quiet and low-key road in the heart of Marylebone. When you reach the end of the road, the atmosphere completely changes as two very tall, handsome doormen are standing outside of this beautiful unexpected building, greeting you with a smile.


The doorman walked us through a beautiful courtyard to get to the restaurant. The complete change of atmosphere made you feel like you were suddenly not in London anymore.

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My first impression was wow – I was very intrigued by the staff, the creative interior and the atmosphere. The restaurant is sophisticated and elegant, yet very relaxed with a casual open kitchen in the back.

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Some tables were located quite close to each other. If you are only two people, the counter seats are great and if you are a larger group, there is a good table in the back of the restaurant which can accommodate up to 8 people.


We were seated at the back of the restaurant by the counter (table 63), overlooking the open kitchen and the whole restaurant. Despite sitting right next to the kitchen, we never felt disturbed. In fact, watching the way they work so smoothly was entertaining and quite impressive.


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The menu was simple on a single sheet. I took a picture for your reference since there is no brunch menu, or anything else for that matter on their website.

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For the starter we shared the ‘Steak Tartare with Pine Nuts & Chipotle’ – it was amazing. I loved how the ingredients were so neatly separated and you could choose how much you wanted from each. The balancing of the flavours was just perfect. The tartare was served with toast and their own firehouse sauce, which was slightly spicy but tasty – good luck getting the sauce out from the bottle though!


For the main, I ordered the ‘Beef & Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs & Hollandaise’ which was served in the pan. The eggs were perfectly cooked but the pepper and the seasoning made it, not to mention the beef was so tender and juicy.

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My friend’s ‘Smoked Salmon on Herbed Potato Cake with Poached Eggs’ was also great, I especially liked the crispy potato base.

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The dishes were simple yet delicious, everything served is of high quality. Our waiter was very friendly, knowledgeable and attentive but we especially fell in love with these little puppies who were serving us salt and pepper. 


Here is the separate dessert menu, all at £8 each.


We chose the Pecan Pie which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great like the other dishes. I regret not choosing the Dark Chocolate Tart.

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When walking down to the ladies room, I almost felt like I was in a cruise ship with all the pipes and old fashioned interior. Thinking about it, it also went in line with the elegant blue/white uniforms of the waiters and the hats of the doormen. They clearly have a very rigorous screening process, if you know what I mean.

We found something interesting written on the mirror and it turned out to be a door.



Voila – there is a secret back garden/smoking area.


Saving the best for last, they have outdoor seating which you can actually reserve in advance. On a nice summer day – this is the spot!


Verdict: Nuno Mendes – The Portuguese chef behind this restaurant, previously known for Viajante and Corner room, lived up to his reputation and did not disappoint.

This wasn’t the cheapest brunch I must admit, at 37 pounds each including a 15% service charge (sharing the starter and dessert), but it was still worth it. There are not many places that I can look back on and honestly not have complaints about (apart from wishing that I had chosen the chocolate dessert but that is due to personal preference). 

I would highly recommend this to anyone and choose the counter seats if you can. If you go in the evening you should try their crab doughnuts as they are very popular and were already being prepared at lunch.

My friend Dips who I dined with is going back for dinner in 2 weeks. Check out her take on the brunch and keep a lookout for the upcoming dinner at –

Oh, and before leaving, I had to steal the doorman’s hat for a picture. I will most definitely be back! Maybe for an intimate brunch or dinner with someone : ).

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1 Chiltern Street
London W1U 7PA
+44 (0)20 7073 7676    


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