The Phoenix, a gastropub, located right off Kings Rd in a picturesque residential street, is one of the 28 pubs owned by Geronimo Inns (others including the Northcote, the Kings Head, The Prince Albert). Just like the company philosophy says, Geronimo invest in their pubs and tailor the interior/exterior to their locality, and the Phoenix is no exception. Walking into the pub one is immediately immersed in the wood, warm colours, leather couches and bright earthly paintings on the walls. Warmth and welcome oozes from the walls. The clientele, however, do not let you forget that you are in the middle of Chelsea, adding a glamorous element to the atmosphere.
Though this was not the first visit to Phoenix for some in our group, the mistake on behalf of the pub of having our table of 10 reserved for the night before (and therefore resulting in us having to squeeze-in and hunt on unsuspecting diners for extra tables and chairs throughout the night), proved to be a disappointment in the service for the repeat customers. Never mind, we were in for a cozy night.
The menu looked promising and to the point, and I could not wait to experience the gastropub flare of this establishment. Opting for a shared starter, we ordered ‘Steamed muscles with cider, cream, butter, salt and lemon’ (£7.50), deep fried squid, and fresh bread with olives and hummus (£3.95). My excitement was quickly dulled as the muscles arrived carrying with them a distinct fishy smell of doubt (OhMyGodWillIGetSickOfPotentiallyDodgySeafood).
The duck arrived, and to my disappointment and contrary to my expectations, it was cooked medium-to-well (“Well” being the operative word). It was a good quality duck breast, as the flavour was all there, but it was just over cooked. New new potatoes and the green beans were perfect.
|Fish Cake with Poached egg|