Candid’s Baldwin Ho test drives the British-honed menu at Bluebird.
On a recent visit to the iconic Bluebird in Chelsea, I did observe that their menu had gone through a more patriotic revamp with a strong focus on British dishes and British produce.
Was this their preparation for a no-deal Brexit? Will foreign imported produce be much more expensive? Although, I do not have answers to these all-important questions (and neither does the government); it was somewhat ironic to discover that their executive chef is none other than Simon Gregory who is Australian born and worked at renowned restaurants like Catalina in Rose Bay before moving to the UK and working with the likes of Gordon Ramsay.
The look of Bluebird is as iconic as ever especially with their £2million refurbishment in recent years. The leafy art-deco feel of the restaurant has remained along with the historic, bold, red steel frames which are part of the original structure of what used to be the Bluebird Motor Company in 1923.
There is no need for pontification with your guest if you are a fan of British produce because this menu is littered with the very best of British from Shetland mussels to even wild Faroe Island salmon. Having a health-conscious lunch guest always provides extra competition as to what you should order. We both opted for a vegetarian starter: she opted for a creamy burrata paired with complex bitter flavours from burnt orange and dukkha along with pomegranate to give the dish a textural crunch.
I opted for a summery Markham farm asparagus which you don't need to do much with as the produce is already of such high quality; but here it is accompanied by pea, broad bean and radish sesame salad.
The main course was more of the same, with my guest opting for a light dish in the form of sea bream that had almond romesco sauce to give the dish some punch, served with chickpeas and red pepper to make sure it was at least filling. I went for the vegetarian's favourite comfort food: English pea, champagne and broad bean risotto. The dish was extremely earthy and summery although I am not sure the champagne added much difference to the dish when they could have used white wine.
In a rather unusual twist, my favourite course on was the dessert: Millefeuille English strawberries. Whilst the dish was, of course, French, hence also known as the Napoleon, the addition of in-season plump strawberries from the English countryside really made this classic pastry dish stand out.
Remarkably, Bluebird has been going strong for over twenty years and with Bluebird Café opening in White City and also openings in NYC, we can only see them going from strength to strength for many years to come.
Explore more about Bluebird on their website.
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