Five minutes’ walk from Fulham Broadway station, just off the New King’s Road, you’ll find Eelbrook, a stunning new fine dining space right on the corner of Eel Brook Common. With a diverse and innovative menu created by the young and dynamic chef Brett Barnes, I couldn’t RSVP fast enough to the dinner invite that dropped into my inbox this month.
Arriving at the restaurant, the first thing that struck me was the light and airy interior – Scandinavian furniture was beautifully presented against white walls, clean lines and giant canvas paintings bursting with colour. One wall of the restaurant is entirely French doors, opening up onto the Common and deceiving you into thinking you are anywhere but London.
We convened on the terrace, with Eelbrook champagne cocktails of Perrier Jouet and Fiorente (a new elderflower liquer). The Indian summer we are experiencing was a blessing, as we enjoyed the tranquility of alfresco Fulham in the mild evening.
Eelbrook specialises in dishes made from the best of British ingredients with European and North African influences. Head chef Brett has some impressive restaurant stints under his belt already, including Ducksoup, Arbutus and Hix, all in Soho. Brett talked us through the exclusive tasting menu he’d created specially for the evening – it was the perfect way for me to try a myriad of small plates, paired with complementary wines, to allow me to report back on a large proportion of the normal menu!
We took our seats for dinner, and kicked off with a Salt Cod Brandade with seaweed bread – deliciously more-ish and delicate in flavour, but still with a good salty garlic bite.
Lincolnshire Smoked Eel followed, on a potato pancake and topped with a dollop of horseradish crème fraîche – it was a match made in heaven without being overpowering – and this comes from someone who’s not usually a fan of eel!
A mound of Venison Tartare appeared next, drizzled with burnt shallot sauce, with rustic Swedish crisp bread on the side. Again, this is a dish I would never have ordered myself, but I was pleasantly surprised. The meat was hand chopped, the shallot sauce was delicious, and it was all wonderfully washed down with a glass of French red (Les Sablons AOP Ventoux – Grenache Syrah 2012).
After our trio of starters, we were served miniature versions of two main courses. The Wild Salmon with a light minestrone-style ragú of summer vegetables and aromatic pistou dressing was tasty, with a caramelised skin, but didn’t blow me away as the previous courses had.
The Partridge dish, however, was another new experience for me, and one I would certainly repeat. The bird was served whole, wrapped in pork cheek ‘pancetta’ (Guanciale), laid on a dollop of creamed sweetcorn, and dressed with crisp roasted spelt and pan juices. Paired with a glass of Malbec (Chateau du Caillu 2012), it was quite something. I picked the bones clean as best I could, and could have eaten double servings of the creamed corn!
As if we hadn’t eaten enough already, there were still two dessert courses to come! First a chilled plum soup, with cherries, cobnuts and a scoop of hazelnut ice cream – wonderfully refreshing and the perfect palette cleanser.
And finally, a Charolais goat’s cheese board with pineapple chutney and dessert wine.
Totally stuffed, thoroughly entertained by my blogger dining companions, and wowed by the beautiful setting, I rolled home happy, and vowing to get back to Eelbrook soon – especially if this good weather continues.
Eelbrook is also open for breakfast, brunch and lunch (menus here) – and I almost think it would be a more wonderful venue during the day, for the views across the Common. Pricing is reasonable, with food at about £10 a head for lunch, and £35 for dinner.
Have You Heard Of It? dined as a guest.
Eel Brook Common, Fulham, SW6 4SE