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Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Brinkley's Garden on Urbanspoon
Brinkley’s on Hollywood Rd Chelsea is a bit of an institution it seems. Packed to the brim on a Saturday night with a one in one out policy, the restaurant at the back still resembles an airy sanctuary. Until maybe 10pm, but we signed up for that. 
Restaurant at the back. Photo thanks to Brinkleys
The menu showed promise and seasonality with deep fried courgette flower, tuna tartare, beetroot & ricotta tortelloni, and seasonal English asparagus. The terrine of foie gras (£9.50) was a lot like pure foie gras served with beetroot, ginger and apple chutney, and worked well together. It was smooth and buttery with welcoming chutney sweetness.

Pork Belly with spring onion mash, carrot puree, savoy cabbage and apple sauce £17

My pork belly main (£17) was a different story however. The presentation instantly slightly scared me; dollops of mashed vegetables, and a square shape of what looked like over brown over cooked over dry pork belly. “It’s ok” I told myself after an initial pang of disappointment, “looks can be deceiving”. 

Getting my (butter) knife and fork ready for action at the top of the crackling I applied pressure, and nothing happened. I then applied more pressure so that I was in danger of losing this piece of meat to the vicinity of my friends lap. I heard a slight crack, but I was already calling the waitress. 

To my surprise I was informed that this is the way the owner likes it, and I should flip the belly over for easy access to the meat (what? My inner food critic’s eyes light up with excitement). But it was dry, and I then had to explain to the manager that the whole thing was technically incorrect (how could they send this out?) while in the back of my head reminiscing about the likes of Kopapa crispy goodness.

Black linguine with scallops, prawns, tomato, chili, garlic and basil (£17)

Take two with Black Linguine was much more successful. Fresh perfectly cooked seafood on a bed of al dante pasta covered in rich tomato sauce with an aromatic hint of basil. So I was satisfied and highly amused at the same time; that pork belly must’ve been some kind of glitch in the system!?

We didn’t have dessert, but I can tell you that their Espresso Martinis are up there with some of the best.

Come here for a fun atmosphere and a great start to a night out with friends.

Square Meal

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