Saturday, 6 March 2010


35 Walton Street
London SW3 2HU

020 7584 3148

In the no man's land where Knightsbridge, Chelsea and South Ken intersect, close to the great battleship landmark of Harrods sits The Enterprise. "It's informality is its drawing power and it attracts a very fashionable and up-scale client base, described as 'the only pub in town for ladies who lunch.' ", proclaims the website. Lucky ladies. This really isn't quite a gastro pub though. There is no booking except at lunchtimes in the week, but you don't order at the bar pay and sit down. Its very much restaurant style, pay at the end of the meal, table service. It does however have the informal style of a pub. We are there early, you have to be to secure a table towards the end of the week in the evening. Its sevenish pm. There is a throng of people at the bar and more than half the tables are occupied. Most of the tables are arrayed along a banquette. We sit at one of these. I am looking at etched pub glass in the windows. There are books in the window embrasures. They obscure some of the lettering which says SPIRITS on the right and for a moment because half of one letter is obscured on the left I read FINE BUMS. Its actually FINE RUMS. At the back is a tiny kitchen, open plan, where three chefs are already working furiously. Above them is a small rectangular blackboard with the specials. The clientele are not the young City types with families, public school voices and labradors that you get in Fulham and even Brook Green (see Havelock Arms ). Here they are more metro, older and international as the proximity to Harrods and Knightsbridge might proclaim. The atmosphere at the same time manages to feel residential, neighbourly. You can tell I feel uncomfortably comfortable here.

I'm shocked when writing this and looking at the website to discover that The Enterprise is under the same ownership as Christopher's in Covent Garden a place which I think, apart from the bar, has completely lost the plot (see linked review). We share tempura of calamari and courgette with a soy ginger and honey dip as a starter, £8. The batter is light, crispy, the courgette still firm, not overcooked, the calamari firm too but not rubbery. Delicious and easy to share too. A perfect not too enormous starter. I then have fettucine, wild mushroom and thyme ragout, parmesan and truffle oil, £14. It is excellent. The mushrooms have real taste, the fettucine is fresh and soft, the truffle oil flavour is not drowned out by the other tastes and it is not too creamy buttery either. I try my guest's whole roast sea bass, parmesan roasted fennel, herb butter £16.75 which has been ordered with some spinach. The sea bass is beautifully cooked: crispy on the outside flaky moist fish which falls off the bone just as it should do. We drink a bottle of Wolf Riesling, Dr. Loosen, Pfalz, Germany 2008, £25. It manages to be the perfect accompaniment to both dishes: aromatic, slightly sweet but with a dry finish. Since we arrived early we have already had two complimentary glasses of merlot. The riesling though was in a different class and a bargain at the price. Pretty perfect meal. Not cheap pub prices though at £75 all in. A central London restaurant bill. As I said earlier, lucky ladies and management, I know its trying to do something different, but please send the people at Christopher's down here to see what can be achieved!

Enterprise on Urbanspoon

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