Chapters of Blackheath

Chrissy ON Jan 15, 2013 AT 11:30 am

by Chrissy Iley

Chapters All Day Dining

I once had thrice cooked chips in Chapters of Blackheath and I had declared them the best chips in the world – perfectly brown and crisp on the outside and gorgeously creamy fluffy tasty cosy on the inside.

I’d had this chip discussion with my friend Fiona who lives near there, so I went to repeat the experience. Sometimes things like a destination chip can mess with your memory. You remember it as this perfect moment, this perfect chip and in fact you’ve just built it up because you are carb deprived and you want to think if I’m not going to have the perfect chip I’m not going to have any chip at all. In fact the fantasy was less good than the reality.

After eating a food mountain we still managed thrice cooked chips. It was a mountain of really special treats at remarkably un-special prices.

I started off with a cucumber apple martini. The smell was euphoric. Cucumbers smell like bubble bath and summertime and they are the perfect twist to winter. So refreshing. I had a Caesar salad, which is super fresh, lettuce so crisp you could cut paper with it accompanied by the perfect Parmesan and morish dressing.

We shared a starter of the risotto, which was on the special, which was one of those magical risottos that was creamy, intensely flavoursome, yet it danced light on our tongues.

Then we tried the venison special. Tiny perfectly cooked velvety soft venison slices perched delicately on fingerling potatoes that were all juicy and cosy. The venison comes from Chart Farm. The Michelin starred chef at Chapter One, the mother restaurant of Chapters, Andy McLeish, enjoys hunting deer. At least he enjoys the stalking and the challenge and he finds it a humane death, although it is emotional.

The chef at Chapters, Alex Tyndall, gets excited about how it tastes on the plate. It was served with gorgeous compote of winter fruits, a perfect balancing act of winter flavours and colours.

Because I wanted the destination chips, I had to order a grilled spatchcock chicken to go with the chips. The chickens are Josper grilled, which helps make them divinely juicy and fully tasty. The meat falls off the fork.

The waiter recommended a blue cheese sauce. It isn’t what I would normally have gone for but it is amazing, possibly the best cheese sauce ever, a mouth awakening flavour, again without heaviness, just gorgeousness.

We were groaning with pleasure, saying we couldn’t fit in anything. We managed a single espresso. We had been talking non-stop for hours. It’s amazing how wonderful food creates an intimacy. The service was attentive but unobtrusive. Fiona has come to Chapters for special occasions in the past because it is special. The prices though are excellent value with a set menu from £12.95 and main courses extremely competitively priced. It feels way classier than it costs.

We chatted some more and saw that a honeycomb ice cream was on the menu as was a white peach sorbet. We decided they might be palate cleansing, refreshing. The honeycomb ice cream and the sorbets are home made and were strangely uplifting, a wonderful end.


Chapters All Day Dining 43-45 Montpelier Vale Blackheath Village London SE3 OTJ. Set menus from £12.95.

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