Sam’s Kitchen joins the Club Card

Image above: Head Chef Abbie Henden; Sam’s Kitchen Chiswick

Brunch with hints of fine dining

It’s tricky ‘reviewing’ a restaurant or cafe which is part of our Club Card scheme, because you’ll be thinking ‘well they would say that, wouldn’t they?’ But hand on heart, I think Sam’s Kitchen offers Chiswick something new, something different which you can’t find elsewhere, despite the myriad options you could choose for brunch or lunch in Chiswick that are of a high standard.

Sam’s has the advantage of having big sibling restaurants in Sam’s Riverside and Sam’s Waterside in Hammersmith and Brentford respectively, where the offer is fine dining. Sam’s team can take what works best that can be translated to a smaller space with a high turnover of customers and deliver a cheaper menu for breakfast and lunch, which still has that something special.

Sam’s team you may recognise. The manager Chris used to manage The Crown, which has recently closed, while the head chef Abbie spent five years learning her craft at La Trompette. She, at only 27, is a real star in the making, says owner Sam Harrison.

An example of a straight lift from another of Sam’s restaurants is the Sam’s Full English breakfast – Fried egg, bacon, Jumbo sausage, mushroom, tomato, fried slice and house baked beans – which has proved so popular. It sounds like any old English breakfast to be fair, but the meat comes from one of London’s most respected butchers, HG Walter, and the eggs from St Ewe’s free range eggs. The hash browns are Abbie’s own recipe.

Images above: Sam’s Full English; Lemon & Ricotta Hotcakes with Poached Yorkshire rhubarb

Sam’s Kitchen, open from 8am to 3pm on Turnham Green Terrace, has spent the past couple of weeks finding out what works in the new space. Some dishes they served on the first day, like the sweet potato rosti, have not survived the cut (delicious, but too difficult to make with reliable consistency when they’re really under pressure) and have been replaced with others which have been popular and they can be sure to replicate on a day when they have 200 covers.

The Portland Crab English Muffin, with poached egg and Hollandaise sauce, is one dish which remains in the menu, as does the Lemon & Ricotta Hotcakes and the Roasted Pineapple, Cardamon Yoghurt, Spiced Oat Granola.

“We have taken note of which dishes people have wiped the plate and eaten every morsel of” says Chris.

On the day we went, I had the Chicken Schnitzel, fresh and simple, with Crispy Sage, Caesar dressed leaves, Anchovy and St Ewe’s egg – another dish which has become a menu staple. My vegetarian companion had the Sweet Potato & Adobo Quesadilla, with Avocado, Black Beans, Rocket and Mojo Verde.

She often feels she doesn’t have much choice as a vegetarian, (partly because she doesn’t like mushrooms, which is a distinct drawback as a vegetarian eating out, as everywhere seems to offer Mushroom Risotto). That was not the case here.

We considered ordering fries and decided against. My Schnitzel was filling enough without them, but the Quesillada could have done with the added bulk. it was “flavoursome and juicy” she said, and interestingly different.

Of course that left room for dessert. I hope the Pineapple Upside Down Cake stays in the Dessert / Cake of the Day menu. The perfect sponge, crispy at the edges, soft in the middle, with hot pineapple and a homemade vanilla ice-cream.

But it was the coffee which was the most surprising – Café Bonbon, a layer of condensed milk, a layer of expresso and a layer of steamed milk. I don’t know how you’re supposed to drink it, but if you sip without stirring you get the shock of the bitter coffee and the sweet creamy condensed milk separately, but together, which is a bit of a shock to the taste buds, and then if you stir it up you get a lovely creamy, sweet, rich coffee.

Glancing round at the other diners, they all seemed happy, and I noticed Sam’s Kitchen had resisted the temptation to cram in too many tables, so there was ample room for the two young mums beside us to park their huge baby chariots without getting in the way of the waiters or other customers.

Definitely bears further investigation. Especially as they are in the Club Card scheme, offering 10% off food and drink Monday to Thursday.

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