October 10, 2011 07:10
| Food and Drink
The Collection gives nothing away, right from the off. Visitors to the minimalist website are given little clue about the venue or the food, and the square, grey façade on Brompton Road gives no hints of what lies beyond.
The illuminated catwalk, which leads to the entrance beyond, is perhaps a nod to The Collection’s relaunch
at the height of fashion week season last month.
At the end, though, the space itself is entirely unexpected: a converted warehouse with a 50 foot bar down one side and a mezzanine level dining area is cavernously impressive. The cathedral-like space, hung with metallic lighting features, is dramatic, and totally at odds with the inauspicious entrance.
You could quite easily pass an evening quaffing champagne and admiring the double-height ceiling, but the new menu is incredibly tempting.
The chefs pride themselves on sourcing ingredients from the local area, but the menu is distinctly Mediterranean in tone. A beautiful basket of artisan bread with some of the restaurant’s signature infused olive oils was a great start to the meal, although you do risk filling up on it before any more food arrives.
To start, there is a huge list of small plates to choose from and you could easily make a meal out of these. We had a smoked chicken with papaya, chilli squid, and butternut squash with feta, all of which were beautifully put together plates of food, jam-packed with great flavours.
There’s a comprehensive list of main courses, and the duck with sweet potato and lamb shank were both lovely – particularly the latter which the waiter carved at the table. However, the plates were cold which meant the food was tepid within minutes, and there were some bum notes – not least a bizarre pistachio sauce that came with the lamb.
For dessert, a Greek yoghurt panna cotta was smooth and creamy and pleasantly tangy. The pistachio tartlet was more of a sponge, but still delicious, and topped with a wickedly sweet white chocolate mousse.
There are plans to host a series of one-off pop-up stores in the space, collaborating with jewellers, designers and artists to showcase their collections, and the venue certainly has potential. Once the teething problems are sorted, it deserves to become a top Chelsea hang out.
A two course dinner for two with wine is around £65.
The Collection, 264 Brompton Road, London SW3 2AS / 020 72251212