As a surprise birthday gift for my mum, the family all conspired to plan a small dinner at Chiswick, Matt Moran’s latest eatery and kitchen garden experience!

With Chiswick, Matt Moran’s focus on family eating and sharing plates amongst those at the table permeated the menu, with a lot of options being designed to be shared between two or three people. I really liked this approach, as we were happy to share and try a bit of each dish, so we picked two smaller plates and one large meal to share, as well as a salad. We chose the char grilled grain fed beef with roasted peppers and chimmichurri, as well as the crab spaghetti, and the fish and prawn tagine with saffron and cous cous, and the garden salad with grapes and cheese to go along with the dishes. The crab spaghetti was definitely the highlight, and I would’ve happily finished the whole plate! The flavour was rich, and the pasta soft and delicate, with a lovely tomato based sauce. I also adored the grain fed beef, and I would go so far as to say it was the best steak I have ever had the pleasure of eating! A big call, but certainly justified, as it was juicy and tender, and the two sauces went along with it perfectly. The herbs used to season the meat were balanced and gave it the right amount of flavour, and it was truly a joy to eat!

While the tagine was generously portioned, and could easily be shared between all four of us, the cous cous was dry, and the fish and prawn curry too spicy to be enjoyable, which let the meal down somewhat. The salad, however, was light and refreshing, and a good balance to some of the richer flavours in the food. Finally, we decided to opt for some dessert, and chose the Knickerbocker Glory for my sister, a treat which she had only previously read about in books, but which by all accounts, lived up to the hype! I chose a passionfruit tart, and the pastry was flaky and buttery, with the strong passionfruit flavour coming through with the filling – a great dessert all up!

I had made a booking for around 6, but because of the traffic, we were quite late, so unfortunately our table was taken for other customers. Nevertheless, they found a nice table near the garden for us, which had a better view of the outside and bar area, and was really a better spot than the main restaurant! The cutlery came in a rustic wooden box, and it was a much more casual dining experience than most fine dining restaurants, which was great for having a good chat while enjoying our meal. The dishes took some time to prepare, but our server helpfully brought out the pasta first, to keep us from feeling too peckish. The layout of the restaurant as a whole was excellent, and we were able to appreciate all of the wonderful nuances that Chiswick’s dining experience had to offer.

A great fine dining experience with a casual feel, and especially in being able to try some wholesome, hearty meals that may appear deceptively simple, but are packed full of flavour and are generously portioned. I would certainly suggest grabbing a couple of dishes to share, so that you can sample more of what Chiswick has to offer! All up, the meal for 4 people came to around $100, making it quite an inexpensive meal for that calibre of dining, so excellent value as well! The only problem I experienced was with transport – you would certainly need to drive, so keep that in mind. Nevertheless, I shall be back!

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