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SEEN Reviews: Sunday Lunch at Hatchetts

George Bernard Shaw once said: ‘there is no sincerer love than the love of food.’ SEEN agrees that eating good food is such a pleasure that she has learned to starve herself for a good 18 hours prior to dining at Hatchetts in Shepherd Market. That way she can sincerely love their sumptuous food to the full. As ever, it’s the details that impress at Hatchetts: The friendly and attentive staff, the unpretentious ambience, but above all, well-cooked food that very sensibly, Hatchetts allows to speak for itself.

George Bernard Shaw once said: ‘there is no sincerer love than the love of food.’ SEEN agrees that eating good food is such a pleasure that she has learned to starve herself for a good 18 hours prior to dining at Hatchetts in Shepherd Market. That way she can sincerely love their sumptuous food to the full. As ever, it’s the details that impress at Hatchetts: The friendly and attentive staff, the unpretentious ambience, but above all, well-cooked food that very sensibly, Hatchetts allows to speak for itself.

Frankly, SEEN has had too Sunday lunches that were a bit over-enthusiastic in giving diners a weird ‘twist’ when, actually, Sunday Lunch is a British institution. You don’t mess about with it. The meat should be tender, the roast potatoes crisp and crunchy, and the Yorkshire pudding beautifully risen.

I ate some delicious bread (with Netherend Farm butter), sipping Kingsdown sparkling water and a glass of Tooma River Shiraz, which was rich and very smooth, the perfect mate to my roast chicken dinner. This was comfort food bar none; tender chicken with a seared skin, a huge, light Yorkshire pudding, crunchy roasted potatoes, bread sauce, garlic greens, glazed carrots, roast shallots, and confit leg croquette. All of it was (thankfully!) allowed to taste gloriously of itself. The only concession to being trendy was a hint of truffle in the thyme gravy, which sat very well with the chicken. SEEN felt very Falstaffian by the time she’d finished and could barely be restrained from throwing the confit leg in the hearth. It looked lovely on the plate without being over-fussy. Like I say, it’s the details.

Ieva, one of the lovely waiting staff, recommended that I try the Burnt butter pudding, spiced brown bread ice cream, ginger and blackberry. Fortunately the portion was the right size: not too big. The richness and warmth of the pudding was set off by the cold of the ice cream, the heat of the ginger and the sweetness of the blackberry. Now, that was a nice twist on the usual bread and butter pudding. Incidentally, the wine came in the most beautiful glass, which was shaped like an upside-down, curvilinear bell. It was a pleasure to drink from such elegant stemware.

I sat in the corner, all the better to observe my fellow diners – some in a private dining room. Everyone looked warm, cosy and well-fed. The atmosphere was relaxed and laid-back. The dining room is in the basement of Hatchetts, a step away from bustling Green Park, but you’d never believe it. It’s absolutely the place to go if you have friends coming from abroad who want to try fine, modern British dining.

www.hatchetts.london

Hatchetts
5 White Horse Street
London
W1J 7LQ