Walking on the Wild Side – The Cadogan Arms Chelsea:
Not so far down the Kings Road that it could be called ‘The Wrong End’, if indeed anywhere in Chelsea is ‘Wrong’ now, our taxi driver was reluctant when we asked to be taken to the Cadogan Arms.
Oh you don’t want to go there to eat – it’s a working man’s pub…
(we don’t generally look THAT posh – for that matter, we don’t generally take a cab!)
He’d obviously not been inside for a long time – although in fairness, unlike many gastropubs the Cadogan Arms has kept the feeling of a traditional ale-house and has a largish bar area to the front. Refreshingly it also has a pool room upstairs with three bookable tables. We were told that the pool tables have been fitted with special removable tops so that if the room is booked for a private dining event they are multifunctional. But, we were there to dine, so just took a quick look. All three tables were booked up at 6.30 and from the constant stream of people going upstairs, I suspect they stayed that way all evening.
Meanwhile, Simon had ordered himself a gin cocktail made with Martin Miller gin, strawberries and tonic while I was busily trying to select from the menu. In the end I went back to a variation on an old favourite – Scallops with chorizo. Here they were on the menu with sea spinach and hazelnut powder.
Simon, clearly trying to rebalance the misdemeanours of the G&T apperitif, ordered celeriac soup with artichoke crisps.
My scallops arrived on a sizzling pan. Queen scallops should be medium size, these were quite small, but very delicious and perfectly cooked. No complaints at all, the smaller the scallop the harder it is to cook them perfectly – these were nicely caramelised but miraculously tender. And – a good mix of chorizo and seasoning.
The soup looked delicious and perfectly presented with the artichoke crisps on top.
Simon, in the spirit of the evening (it was National Pie Week) ordered a pint and a pie. I think it was the white park short-rib and chestnut, but to be honest I was too busy concentrating on what to pick for myself
Mine wasn’t a bad choice at all. Rump of Welsh lamb with Colston Basset Dauphinoise, purple broccoli, crispy anchovy and lamb jus. In fact, one of the best things about the Cadogan Arms was that the food was a good cut above your average gastro-pub meal. You can see how perfectly cooked the lamb was from the photo…but you’ll just have to take my word about the scruptious Dauphinoise.
The Cadogan Arms menu is clearly seasonal and has a UK focus. Fish and shellfish comes from Billingsgate every morning and the specials on the day of our visit included Wye Vally asparagus with pheasant’s egg and slow roast belly of Aberdeen Angus rose veal with wild garlic. The cheese board had two English and one French cheese (Comte).
Desserts were a cornucopia of gorgeousness. In the end we settled on sharing a Pear and walnut frangipane tart with burnt honey and thyme ice cream. Delicious
This is the kind of pub you want on your doorstep. It’s posh enough to work if you want to take your parents out for Sunday lunch, there’s pool and a decent bar and…the food is good enough to eat every day of the week.