I’ve been dying to sit down and tell you about my visit to The Five Fields in Chelsea, undoubtedly the best meal I’ve ever had. I had booked a few months earlier when The Five Fields was relatively unknown, after an extensive search for the perfect restaurant to celebrate my 25th birthday. It was also Sam’s birthday coming up and our two year anniversary the previous month, which passed without a second thought due to Sam’s final exams. Instead of buying gifts we decided to treat ourselves to a nice meal out so I was after a restaurant with that wow factor.
As much as I love keeping up with the latest restaurant openings, those with famous chefs and places which offer something a little bit unusual, I often find the best experiences are found at small under-the-radar restaurants like Four O Nine and Restaurant 27. Opening earlier this year, The Five Fields in Chelsea witnessed a short duration in the spotlight which involved a never ending list of five star reviews. Luckily, things have died down a little and while the five stars keep coming, the talk amongst foodies has calmed down and for now, I still consider The Five Fields a hidden gem. We started our evening with a drink in the pub around the corner, close to Kings Road, where we were joined by a rather tipsy woman who was rambling on about her personal life. After our amusing encounter we headed to The Five Fields for our booking at 6:30. We were only the second table to be seated that evening but didn’t feel at all awkward as the restaurant is quite small but by no means cramped, with only 40 covers. Our coats were taken and we were asked if we wanted a drink while we looked at the menu. Of course! Why the hell not I thought and ordered myself a glass of champagne!
We were suprised to see our menu was personalised with birthday wishes which I thought was a lovely touch. I was half tempted to push the boat out and have the tasting menu at £65 which was a great deal and I loved the sound of everything on there but I listened to my head which told me that there was no way I would manage nine courses, no matter how small the portions.
Luckily I had my glass of fizz as it was tough to decide what to have from the quaintly British menu which included game. Once we had chosen we were presented with Petit Lucques Olives, followed by a tiny glass containing Borlotti Bean Ragu with a Black Brioche, Rosemary and Broccoli crumb. The meal was off to a good start.
Three canapés arrived soon after including; Charred Mackerel Croquette with Caper Mayonnaise; Yoghurt Pastry with Caramelised Red Onion & Mushroom; Mallard Duck with Beetroot and Pomegranate Crumb. My favourite was the Mackerel Croquette, a distinctive taste but not too fishy as one may find elsewhere. We ordered half a bottle of our favourite wine, a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand, as surprisingly it was cheaper to order two half bottles of Marlborough than a bottle of the more expensive stuff. Also, this allowed us to see how we went and whether they’d be room for more.
The bread arrived next with three types to choose from accompanied by a slab containing proper butter, both salted and unsalted. The bread was lovely and warm straight from the oven and the freshest I’ve ever come across. The butter was easily spreadable and I would have been more than satisfied if the meal had ended there. I was in heaven. Already having three mini dishes presented to us I’d already indulged in an array of different flavours and was enjoying every moment. There was just one more before our starters arrived which was an exceptionally meaty hot Game Broth with Salt Baked Celeriac.
Once we had finished we were asked if we were ready for our starters. A nice touch I thought which continued throughout the evening to leave us feeling by no means rushed. Sam chose Quail and Lobster Aubergine, Field Mushrooms and Black Garlic for his starter while I went for Orkney Scallops.
Three large meaty scallops cooked to perfection were neatly presented with pistachio paste, brittle and cauliflower with a beautiful crumble crust. Sam’s was hugely impressive too and included a whole lobster claw packed full of flesh.
After a small break we were presented with our mains. I rarely go for red meat but on this occasion we both chose the Yorkshire Lamb and thank goodness we did because this was undoubtedly the tastiest lamb I’ve ever come across and even Sam agreed! (I say this like I’m surprised as mine and Sam’s food likes are total opposites) Accompanied by Smoked Potato, Morello Cherries and Cavolo Nero, I dreamt about this dish for weeks!
There was no way I could leave a single mouthful of this dish so when we were asked if we were ready to order desserts we asked if we could wait a while. Half an hour later after pondering over the adventurous dessert menu, I ordered. First we were given a pre-dessert consisting of a small Sage Financier with Butternut Squash Ice Cream and Apple Purée, which just left me wanting more, I loved it!
For dessert I had Parsnip Cake with Passion Fruit and Banana Sorbet which was just as flavoursome as the pre-dessert. I found the passion fruit sauce slightly too sharp for my own personal taste as I prefer sweeter flavours so I did leave a little on the plate.
After our desserts we were presented with a candle-lit dessert to share. This was their signature dessert Garden Pea and Mint Cassonade, Chocolate Soil and Coconut Sorbet, which didn’t feature on the menu that evening so I was very lucky I got to try it. It certainly didn’t disappoint and the use of peas in puddings and vegetables in our other desserts led me to bake a vegtable cake – divine!
- White Chocolate, Lime and Coconut Truffle
- Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Truffle
- Milk Marshmallows
- Passion Fruit Marshmallows
- Turkish Delights
- Salted Peanut Nougats
Having spent over four hours enjoying the best meal of my life it was time to head home for the evening, but not before a quick espresso martini at Chelsea hotspot, Barts. Our bill came to just short of £200 with the majority of that being alcohol. I think £45 for three courses is outstanding value as the menu offers plenty of choice, more than I’ve ever seen before. That and the quality of the food and service makes The Five Fields in my eye, the best restaurant in town and the reason why I rebooked the very same week.
I’m taking my parents there in January as a Christmas present, as this was the earliest Friday/Saturday evening available. This worries me that as more and more people shout about their fantastic experiences at The Five Fields, it will become near impossible to get a table. However it’s certainly worth the wait and in my mind a cut above the rest. I even received a lovely email from the manager with a list of everything served that evening after I asked him to remind me what our pre-starter was! Outstanding. This restaurant will remain top of my “must visit in London” list.