A couple weeks ago, I’d arranged to meet with my friend Mr W who was in town for the weekend. Unexpectedly, his old grad school chums Messrs X, Y, and Z (can you tell that they loved the idea of having codenames on this blog?) tagged along but our chosen restaurant, Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick, managed to find space for all of us due to a cancellation that Friday night. Actually, I’d like to say up front that service was brilliant the whole night, with everything helping with great food and wine recommendations, and I’m not just saying that because we held our wedding dinner at their sister restaurant two years ago.

After a couple rounds of drinks at the bar, we were led to our table. I like the spacing of the tables at the restaurant though our booth was a little tight. We were immediately distracted by the menu though; everything sounded good and it took us all a while to decide what to eat.

Many at our table started with the Cornish Mackerel “Polonaise”, Pipérade, Red Pepper Essence (£7.00) on the recommendation (and enthusiasm!) of our Polish waitress. I tried a bite from my friend’s plate and yup, it was a delicious bit of fish and was surprisingly not very fishy for a fillet of mackerel.

Cornish Mackerel "Polonaise"

I had eyes only for the Kromeski of Middle White Pork, Sweetcorn, Curry, Coriander, Lime (£6.50), a delicious croquette of various porky bits served with the aforementioned accompaniments. The curry flavour came through in the sauce and went very well with the sweetcorn.

Kromeski of Middle White Pork

Moving on to mains, Messrs W and Z had the Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Pomme Purée, Port Wine Salsify, Oyster Vinaigrette (£14.50). It was an excellent piece of pork with equally fantastic crackling as my little bite assured me.

Slow Cooked Pork Belly

I went with the Beer Barbecue Baby Chicken, Falafel, Fennel Rémoulade, Ranch Dressing, Lettuce (£16.50). Normally I wouldn’t even look at the chicken option on the menu but something about its description on the menu grabbed me! I had half a tender baby chicken on my plate and along with the tasty and sizable falafel, I got quite full and was passing bits of food to Mr Y who had chosen a lighter fish meal. While it was, yes, well cooked, it was still the least exciting dish on the table: that’ll teach me to order the chicken!

Beer Barbecue Baby Chicken

Check out Mr X’s Macken’s Scotch Beef Onglet, Smoked Bone Marrow, Charred Onions, Pickled Girolles (£16.00). I love the look of that bone marrow.

Macken's Scotch Beef Onglet

Somehow we all ended up with different desserts. My Vanilla Cheesecake, Strawberries, Fennel Flowers, Honey Syrup (£6.00) was presented in a little Staub pot and was indeed delicious, all creamy and fruity with a hint of anise.

Vanilla Cheesecake

Mr W’s Chocolate Fondant, Salt Caramel, Tonka Bean Ice Cream, Sesame Cracker (£6.50) was excellent and came out much faster than the expected 20 minutes as stated on the menu. He was very happy with it.

Warm Chocolate Fondant

Mr X wanted something a bit more savoury and went with the cheese plate: Cheeses (3), Grape Chutney, Nuts, Lavosh Crackers (£8.50). I didn’t partake of the cheese but did nibble on a deliciously crisp cracker.

Cheese

It was a grand night with everyone at our table leaving with very good impressions of the restaurant. While the cuisine here is not the kind you search for to be challenged, it was all very good and made us very happy indeed that Friday night; I’ll definitely be returning as it’s so convenient for us in West London. As I mentioned before, service was fantastic and it really made for a great night. And Mr W, your mates are fun!

Charlotte’s Bistro
6 Turnham Green Terrace
London W4 1QP

Charlotte's Bistro on Urbanspoon

There’s still one more day to enter to win either a weekend away in Wales or a hamper full of Welsh goodies! Please see this post for details.

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