Chamberlain’s restaurant is located in the City of London’s Leadenhall Market. The building benefits from year-round outside space on the terrace as it is under cover in historic Leadenhall Poultry Market. 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 interiors are stylish and contemporary with many original features.
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 and brothers Ray and Jeff Steadman founded Chamberlain’s restaurant in 2001. As well as the restaurant and premium seafood wholesale business supplying the very best fish to many of London’s finest hotels, clubs and renowned institutions, the parent company has a thriving events catering business with extensive kitchens at Billingsgate. 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, but a frequently changing menu of more up-to-date dishes complements them.
Executive chef Andrew Jones is classically trained with an impressive culinary background: Claridge’s, The Westbury, Artisan 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’ which he achieved in 2004. He is a Chef Alliance member of Slow Food UK. 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. The cheeseboard is British. The smoked salmon is Scottish, and prepared by an exclusive method of curing, only used for Chamberlain and Thelwell. The ethically sourced a la carte menu changes seasonally and as well as fish and seafood includes a good choice of patron-pleasing vegetarian and meat dishes, the latter all prepared from animals raised in a natural, healthy environment.
We were delighted to be invited to sample Chamberlains’s 5-course tasting menu with matching wines. The tasting menu has been noted for the size of its portions which are more substantial than most but never overwhelming. As we looked over the delicious sounding menu, we were served with an array of warmed breads baked on site fresh that day.
To start our culinary journey, we started with the Lobster Bisque & Irish Oyster paired with a 2014 Chablis, Gerard Tremblay Domaine des Iles. The fabulous presentation of the oyster on a bed of salt crystals and seaweed brought the ocean to the table and the classic dressing of shallot vinegar complemented the freshness of the mollusc. The Lobster Bisque was smooth in texture and delicately creamy in flavour scented with Armagnac.
To follow, we sampled the Baked Paupiette of Lemon Sole & Crab Mousse paired with a 2013 Saint-Véran, Domaine de la Denante. The dish was garnished with fine shreds of raw butternut squash, spring onions & crab cream. The inspired presentation of the spaghetti-like butternut squash, pickled wild mushrooms and micro coriander provided full flavour to complement the vibrant and exquisitely tasting Viennois breadcrumb crusted lemon sole which enveloped a generous portion of rich crab and salmon mousse and was surprisingly still light as a dish.
The next dish was the richer Sautéed Foie Gras garnished with pineapple chutney & spiced bread paired perfectly with a 2013 Sauternes, Ginestet Classique which was the ideal choice from the sommelier as the syrupy sweetness of the Sauternes delighted the palate when combined with the unctuous texture of the foie gras which was sautéed expertly to retain a soft mouth-feel and a melting texture. The two types of pineapple were marinated in ginger and balsamic vinegar respectively which perfectly balanced the texture and flavour of the foie gras.
Instead of the listed Roasted Fillet of Galloway Beef , we were served with Guernsey Skate Wing with brown parsley butter & capers paired with 2015 Percheran Grenache Gris, Western Cape, South Africa. The fish fell off the bone whilst the sauce brought out the flavours infused in the skate wing.
As you can see below the brown parsley butter & caper sauce was served separately to allow us to pour just the right amount over the beautifully cooked fish. The light dish showed just how Chamberlain’s not only deserves the title of finest fish restaurant in the City but is no doubt set to keep this accolade for years to come.
To accompany the fish course, we chose Truffle & Parmesan Chips which were beautifully flavoursome topped with a sprinkling of truffle and parmesan.
To end the meal, the dessert was Orange & Lemon Cheesecake served with jelly & sorbet paired with a 2009 Vidal from the Golden Ice Wine Valley in China. This dish was broken down to its barest elements and is a bold choice by chef Jones who presents a classic dish with a modern twist. This is a chance which has paid off and sets Chamberlain’s apart from its contemporaries in the City.
Special mention must go to Operations Director and Sommelier Alessio Bascherini who has chosen some inspired pairings of wines to complement this delightful menu created by executive chef Andrew Jones. The pairings took your nose and your palate on a journey of pure delight.
23-25 Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 1LR
020 7648 8690