What from the outside looks like any regular pub turns out to be quite different
once we step inside and past the dark panelled bar area up front. The bright
dining room at the back is flooded with light, courtesy of a huge skylight. The
dark wooden floor and creamy walls add to this cosy and airy feeling as we
settle into our booth.
The meal starts off with a selection of starters. Standouts are tomatoes with burrata and a parfait of chicken liver and foie gras. The marinated tomatoes, sourced from Secretts Farm, are incredibly juicy and tender. Sprinkled with both basil oil and leaves, they burst with flavour. The smooth burrata, also British made, contrasts nicely with the more acidic taste of the vegetables. The chicken liver and foie gras parfait also hits the spot. Sprinkled with some salt and served with a buttery brioche and sauternes jelly, it is a rich dish that coats the tongue. But the best is yet to come.
Chef Fred Smith is serious about his meat, which is provided by Jack O'Shea
and aged further in house. He serves a nice selection of steaks of various sizes
and cuts, but we went for the cheeseburger. While burgers are all the rage at
the moment in London, this one manages to stand out from even the best of
them. Fred Smith does not try to reinvent the wheel but rather refines all the
classic components to achieve the most balanced version possible.
On top of the slightly charred bun lies a bed of shredded lettuce, held together by a mustard mayo dressing. Then come some thin slices of gherkin and the perfectly grilled burger meat itself. A slice of cheddar and a home made tomato chutney reduction top it all off. All these various elements work together harmoniously, making each bite a juicy and crunchy delight. The top quality meat, made of 50% chuck and 50% rib cap, really shines through, because it is enhanced, but never overpowered by the other ingredients. This is truly a burger that any serious aficionado needs to sample.
Like the nearby Medlar, the Admiral Codrington is another Chelsea restaurant that offers good value food in lovely surroundings. For a part of London that is known to be very expensive, these two restaurants clearly offer fantastic value for money, and simply very good food.