Harden's survey result
Ex-solicitor, Mikael Jonsson’s “idiosyncratic” passion-project in deepest Chiswick continues to inspire controversy amongst its large following. No-one is too fussed that the interior is “clinical, with harsh light”: it’s the hit to the wallet that elicits grief, with many critics apt to rate the food highly, but still cavil at the “outrageous prices”. Its disciples, though, are “captivated” and feel “the enormous bill is entirely fair” given the “stunning” ingredients (“some not seen elsewhere”), and the “mouthwateringly wonderful”, “constantly evolving” and “exciting” cuisine (“only on offer as tasting menus, but with each course a surprise and delight”). In their view: “at one Michelin star this restaurant is under-rated” – “the food level sometimes touches a three-star, but is certainly two-star and way better than just the one!” Top Menu Tip: don’t miss the bread.
“You either ‘get’ this restaurant or you don’t”, and views on Mikael Jonsson’s “innocuous” and “homely”-looking Chiswick project remain somewhat divided. For a strong majority, “the best ingredients in the UK, coupled with sophisticated cooking technique” provides a “thought-provoking” and “most exciting” tasting menu experience that’s “just about perfect... not too heavy, not too showy, very well balanced, surprising… from a master just riffing in his open kitchen and passing you something like he’s just thought it up, which always tastes great”. Ratings are undercut however, by a vociferous minority, who just “don’t see it”, or who feel a meal is “30-50% overpriced”.
Mikael Jonsson and his “totally committed” team create “an extraordinary culinary experience” behind a “modest” façade in outer-Chiswick (where sitting at the counter watching the preparation is a popular option). It’s “one of the best restaurants in the UK”, with a “total focus on sourcing the best ingredients and intensifying their flavours” via “adventurous combinations” as part of a “stunning tasting menu”, and all complemented by “an exceptional wine list”. On the downside, the approach can seem a little “hushed” or “over-anxious”, and for a sceptical minority the whole set-up seems “monumentally over-rated and overpriced”.
“The best ingredients in London” and “unique, technical mastery” underpin “staggering”, “cutting-edge cuisine at its finest” for most who trek to Mikael Jonsson’s open-kitchen HQ, in outer Chiswick. It’s an “idiosyncratic” experience however, and sceptics feel there’s just “too much fuss and self regard”, especially given the “eye-watering expense”. Stop Press – In October 2015 the restaurant will close and re-open with half the number of covers, more complicated cooking, and a focus on rare ingredients and wines. Pricing may change too.
301-303 Chiswick High Rd, London, W4 4HH
|Number of Diners:|
|Tuesday||6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Wednesday||6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Thursday||6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|