Leadenhall Market restaurant, Chamberlain’s of London, is introducing a tasting menu to its portfolio. The five-course menu is available lunchtime and evenings and offers good value at £49.50. It has been created by Chamberlain’s award-winning executive chef, Andrew Jones, and is sure to please City-based foodies.
Commenting on its introduction, Andrew Jones says: “The nature of the City is changing; we are finding that our traditional business is being augmented by a growing tourist and leisure trade. Chamberlain’s is now regarded as a destination restaurant, as well as being popular with local businesses. Clients have told us that they want us to extend their dining experience with a tasting menu.
This is something we have always offered as a bespoke service to regular customers, but feel the time is right to include it on our main menu.
“The tasting menu offers a great opportunity to try several dishes from our menu in one visit – it comprises smaller portions of dishes on the a la carte menu, and changes on a regular basis. We’ve kept it to five courses so that clients with limited time can enjoy it in around 90 minutes, fitting in with business lunches. And of course, it can be enjoyed over a longer period in the evening!”
The introductory menu starts with Cèpes Galette, followed by Sautéed Foie Gras. Next, with a nod to the superb fish available from parent company, Billingsgate fish wholesaler Chamberlain and Thelwell, is Baked Paupiette of Lemon Sole & Crab Mousse. Roasted Rose County Fillet Steak follows, then Crème Caramel, with baked figs macerated in Marsala. Wine pairing is available for an additional £35. As with all our menus, a full vegetarian alternative menu is available on request.
“Our new tasting menu offers a great opportunity to showcase the skills and techniques of the kitchen by presenting such a well-balanced menu. And, of course, the skill of our front of house team, with service and wine matches. We know it will be popular.” Adds director Alessio Bascherini, who runs the front of house side of the business
Chamberlain’s has been in Leadenhall Market since 2001. It was a natural progression for this family enterprise; one whose premium seafood wholesale business was already supplying the very best fish to many of London’s finest hotels, clubs and renowned institutions. Parent company Chamberlain and Thelwell was founded in 1947 and is based at Billingsgate, London’s oldest wholesale market. Four generations of the Steadman family have worked in the business. As well as the wholesale operation and the restaurant, the parent company has a thriving events catering business with extensive kitchens at Billingsgate.
Being under cover in historic Leadenhall Poultry Market (which dates back to the 14th century and is situated in what was the centre of Roman London), the building benefits from year-round outside space on the terrace. Four different floors, including a cosy, atmospheric basement (with bar, and housing the brasserie) offer a number of dining options, including a first floor mezzanine, ideal for semi-private dining.
The building itself is a listed Victorian one, the exterior carefully restored in line with the rest of the market. Previously a private members’ dining room, the restaurant opening had to be delayed for a few months as builders doing restorations had to stop work when Roman remains were found!
Inside, it is stylish, contemporary, with original features such as the hooks for hanging poultry, carefully retained … ‘modern meets gentleman’s club’.
The restaurant menu reflects the very best fish that is available from around British coastal waters. There are always staple dishes on the menu, including Dover sole and native Scottish lobsters (sent across daily from the company’s lobster tanks at Billingsgate), but a frequently changing menu of more up-to-date dishes complements them. Executive chef Andrew Jones is classically trained: Claridge’s, The Westbury and a stint at the famous three Michelin-starred Michel Bras in France. He is also one of fewer than 30 chefs worldwide eligible to use the title ‘Roux Scholar’.
Andrew Jones describes his style of cooking as ‘Yin and Yang’, with classic and contemporary meeting in the middle. He is always happy to serve the classic dishes that champion British produce, and present them not only with flair, but a nod to modern tastes and fashion. He is not afraid to embrace new cooking techniques but in order to do so, feels that they need to be better than classical.
Everything is produced in-house – even the smoking of the eels and making of the puff pastry is done in Chamberlain’s kitchens. A range of breads is freshly baked each day from three different doughs, including, for example, Armenian bread, focaccia, sour dough, brioche, wholemeal épi ficelle and soda bread.
The smoked salmon is Scottish, and prepared by an exclusive method of curing, only used for Chamberlain and Thelwell. Vinegars, beer (for fish and chips) and wine, are homemade and the cheeseboard is British.
The regular menu changes seasonally, four times a year and as well as fish and seafood, includes a good selection of vegetarian and meat dishes, the latter all prepared from animals raised in a natural, healthy environment. Ethical sourcing is paramount and this strict ethos runs through the whole business, including its events catering operation.
The restaurant lends itself to private dining, with a relaxed basement area, complete with own bar and washrooms, which seats 35 covers. The ground floor seats 30 covers and the mezzanine is perfect for 15 to 20. The first floor comfortably seats 70 covers or takes 100 for a drinks reception. Private hire of the whole building will accommodate 200.