Leadenhall Market is very much part of London’s history, the site dates back to Roman London. A market has been there since the 14th century; the present building with its ornate green, cream and maroon roof, columns and cobbled walkways dates back to Victorian days.
It is famous for its shops (many of them food) plus pubs and restaurants. Another claim to fame is that as Diagon Alley it played a role in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Tucked away at number 23-25 is a restaurant - Chamberlain’s; and, what a restaurant. From the moment you walk through the door and greeted like a long-lost, loved member of the family, through to the skilful and charming service and the outstanding food you know it is somewhere special.
Apart from the Terrace - a small external dining area - the restaurant is spread over four floors – the Ground, Mezzanine and First floors offering more formal, elegant dining whilst in the basement is the cosy, less formal Brasserie.
Award-winning Executive chef Andrew Jones is a chef to be reckoned with. Coming from a family of chefs his background also includes several years at Claridges and the Westbury, and a spell working in a three-star Michelin restaurant in France.
In 2004 he was awarded the accolade of being named as the 21st Roux Scholar. He joined Chamberlain’s in 2011.
Chamberlain’s began life as Chamberlain & Thelwell in 1947, a wholesale fish business – it still operates and indeed the main focus of the restaurant menu is fish. Nevertheless there is an excellent selection of meat dishes.
Chamberlain & Thelwell eventually decided to open their own restaurant and in 2001 Chamberlain’s came into being. The company also offers an outside catering service.
The menu in the main dining rooms makes you want to return time after time to try all the dishes. The Darjeeling Tea Smoked Mackerel and the Baked Waterloo Cheese starters were delicious; as indeed was the Baked Paupiette of Lemon Sole & Crab Mousse and the Roasted Fillet of Halibut, as to the Chocolate Tart and the Jelly & Ice Cream - wow!
It has to mentioned that some of the à la carte menu prices can be on the high side, but hardly surprising bearing in mind the quality of the ingredients used and the skill of the kitchen.
There is however a Daily Set Menu offering two courses for £24.50, three for £29.50, and a five course tasting menu for £49.50. Wines start at £19.50 or from £6 per glass. Mains in the Brasserie start from £9.50 with wine starting at £5 per glass or £18.50 per bottle.
Chamberlain’s has recently introduced a Sunday lunch menu which looks excellent: two courses £21.50; three courses £27.50.
We plan a return visit fairly soon to try out the Brasserie lunch menu. www.chamberlainsoflondon.com