Elton John nearly ruined my Friday night! Admittedly not his fault he got appendicitis but his timing left a lot to be desired. My brother had got us tickets to his Hyde Park gig for my birthday. Plan was to leave baby G with my mum and then head off to Hyde Park for a night of party hits in a crowded field. Elton was convalescing but they were still putting on a concert but an event headlining Elvis Costello is my idea of hell. The babysitting was still valid so a Friday night out still beckoned. Matters were further complicated by my brother going out on a big one Thursday night meaning he wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders. It was all looking a bit hopeless and I could see a Chinese from the excellent Maximini was on the cards. Lovely in it’s own way but not really a Friday night out. My lovely wife saved the situation by suggesting we head up to Fulham where my brother lives and go out somewhere local. Thus it was we had dinner at the Malt House.
Now to give some context The Malt House used to be called the Jolly Malster and was a very rough and ready Chelsea pub. It was particularly grotty inside and the police used to park outside on matchdays to keep an eye on some of less well behaved followers of the mighty CFC. Obviously outside of match days it was quiet so it didn’t surprise me that it was sold on. However what was a surprise that 2 michelin star chef Claude Bosi bought it to compliment his growing stable of restaurants. The building itself is pretty impressive with an unusual covered porch at the front. It’s an old school boozer so the space is split into the bar and saloon with a courtyard around the back that serves as a beer garden. The refurb has tidied up the space so the saloon serves as the main dining area whilst the public bar is more of a spill over or for large groups of diners of which there were a few on our visit. Having said that a lot of people were just drinking in the beer garden which made it feel more pub than restaurant. The bar does a good range of drinks and cocktails , I had a mojito to start (don’t judge me) which was pretty good.
For a Friday night the room was pretty quiet though it did fill up as the evening wore on. Service was a touch hesitant our waitress was new to the restaurant though pleasant enough. One guy who I thought was a manager admitted he hadn't tried the wine so couldn't help me pick a bottle. However the food was really very good indeed. Where we were sat you could see into the kitchen through the service hatch and the guys in the kitchen were pros. As you know I love watching cooks and these guys were turning out lovely dishes. I had a fresh tasting pork salad to start followed by a bavette steak cooked in hay accompanied by the best hollandaise I have ever tasted. My lovely wife had a beetroot starter followed by the tasty house burger. My brother had the pork salad like me and a lovely piece of roast cod. Whilst my sister in law had the beetroot followed by the filet steak. Really nice food. I had been intrigued by a domed cooker I could see in the kitchen and a waiter told me this was a ceramic oven they used to smoke/cook the meat.
My brother paid for the meal but it was very reasonable. I think they need to smarten up the service and maybe make the interior a bit friendlier but this is a good restaurant. Bosi has obviously tailored a couple of Michelin dishes to a more modest setting and succeeded. They have also opened up upstairs to turn it into a B&B so there is a real commitment to make the space work. If you are up by Fulham Broadway this is well worth a visit. Possibly a bit too high end for a match day meal but certainly the place to celebrate a good win.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Food 8 | Service 6 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 8