I've been spending time in Chelsea recently and got to know the streets in between King's Road and South Kensington. That's when I stumbled across Elystan Street tucked away from the hustle and bustle of King's road, a silver faceted restaurant occupying the corner of a Victorian mansion block. Holding one michelin star, the neighbourhood fine dining restaurant is co-owned by Chef Patron Phil Howard and restauranteur Rebecca Mascarenhas whilst the kitchen is run by Head Chef Aaron Potter. The food served here is simple, classic and full of vitality and flavour. The service is confident and warm, just like the interiors. We were greeted and led to a spacious banquette and kicked off our meal with freshly baked sourdough and house butter.
A quick browse of the menu led us to order starters of smoked mackerel velouté and gnochetti with a game ragout. For mains, we ordered a fillet of gurnard with crushed potatoes and a coq au vin. The mackerel arrived with a generous portion of mackerel pate served on a fresh muffin and it was fragrant and delicious. The gnochetti, or sardinian maldoreddus, were al dente and richly coated with a game flavoured sauce. Both dishes were sizeable portions.
The main courses took a little longer to arrive than we expected but they were worth the wait. The gurnard was beautifully cooked with a nice crispy outside and soft, flakey meat inside. It was accompanied by some herby crushed potatoes and melt in the mouth fennel - my favourite vegetable. The coq au vin had a delicious wine sauce which had just the right balance of sweetness and acidity.
With some room left for dessert as part of the 3-course set menu lunch, we decided to go for the tarte tatin with bay leaf ice cream and the clementine sorbet. It didn't disappoint, especially the clementine sorbet which tasted as fresh and flavourful as the real fruit, whilst being perfectly smooth and not too sweet.
The food is classic and delivers what you expect from the menu. Perhaps a little over seasoned on one or two of the dishes but this is down to individual preference. I'd like to try a lighter spring / summer menu to see how it compares.
Overall, we really enjoyed the warm atmosphere, the comfortable seating, attentive service and stylish interiors. There is lots of space between diners and we felt like we had our own little piece of the restaurant, sat side by side on the banquette. I'd definitely recommend asking for the banquette seating when making a reservation. a three course set-menu will set you back £35/pp which is good value for a one michelin star restaurant in this postcode.
43 Elystan Street
Monday - Saturdays • Lunch & Dinner
Sundays • Lunch only