Wonderful Roast Chicken
Disappointing Mackerel escabeche
The Whippet Inn on Chamberlayne Road has a very elegant yet relaxed feel to it. Blazing sunshine on a Sunday lunchtime lead us to the very pleasant outdoor seating area at the front of the restaurant where I spotted a couple of diners being served with terribly good looking rare roast beef and all the trimmings.
The Sunday lunch menu, reassuringly small with delicious sounding dishes such as sugar cured venison, smoked halibut with grapefruit and chili had me heading instantly for the mackerel escabeche. My companion, a big fan of roasts on a Sunday ordered the free range chicken and to wash it down a small carafe of a Provence Rosé.
We decided to go into the restaurant and give them our order as we had waited for about ten minutes after the menus were deposited and the staff were no where to be seen.
Once the food was ordered, however, it arrived promptly, a generous looking plate of chicken with an extra jug of gravy to pour into the Yorkshire pudding and a thick slab of gorgeous looking bread to accompany the marinated fish. The wine, a wonderful pale pink that is so typical of Provence rosés, slipped down beautifully, but when we were on our second glass, noted that the bottom of the carafe was full of sediment.
As someone who’s a pretty stern critic of her roasts, I was delighted to note the very satisfied look on my friend’s face as she crunched her way through the perfect roast potatoes, the tender vegetables, the succulent chicken, the enormous, puffed up Yorkshire pudding all brought together with a delicious gravy. Only one word for it – perfect.
I, on the other hand, whilst noting how good looking my dish was, tucked into a plate of mushy awfulness. The marinade was totally overpowering and the fish itself was like baby food. The bread was fantastic but this was little comfort.
Upon telling the server of my disappointment, she immediately took action – both the wine and the mackerel were taken off the bill and we were also offered a dessert on the house. If only other restaurants would follow their lead. Everybody gets it wrong in the food business – believe you me I should know. It’s how you deal with the situation which dictates whether a customer will be back or not. I’ll tell everyone about the meal, but I’ll also make sure everyone also knows about the very professional attitude in The Whippet Inn. For this and the fantastic roast chicken I’ll be back after my next civilised trip to the independent Lexi cinema down the road. You can count on it.
The Whippet Inn
64 – 66 chamberlyne road
London NW10 3JJ
Telephone: 0208 968 8142