Restaurant review: Hatchetts

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Hatchetts – with great views of the river – has just opened in Barnes, with a keen emphasis on quality ingredients

There’s nothing like starting off an evening out with a cocktail – and Hatchetts, the new restaurant overlooking the river in Barnes, didn’t disappoint. Probably not surprising as they also opened a cocktail bar upstairs.

We visited when they were still at the soft launch stage – in a baptism of fire, they opened on the day of the Boat Race – so Saša, the charming general manager, talked us through their upcoming plans, including a project showing black & white movies and a regular piano player. The menu, which has a choice of six starters and mains, will be changed every couple of weeks and they’re keen to support the high street – the cheese, meat and wine are all sourced from local shops.

This is the second Hatchetts, the original is at Shepherd Market in Mayfair and was mentioned in Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, and its cellar bar used to be regular haunt in the 1960s and 70s for Shirley Bassey, The Rolling Stones and the cast of Hair.

For starters, I chose their own home smoked (out on the back terrace) salmon with soda bread (£9). Instead of thin slivers, the Hatchetts version is thick cut with a heavier texture and so beautifully tender that it just melts creamily in the mouth. While there was plenty of malty soda bread (and tiny edible flowers), I didn’t want to taste any other flavours, so happily ate the salmon on its own. Alex, my husband, went for the roast and picked cauliflower, caper, raisin and mint dressing with crispy kale (£8). The presentation was lovely and while the mint didn’t really come through, it wasn’t missed as the more muted characters came through.

For our mains, Alex chose the Jeffersons ale and beef pie with broccoli (£16). As good pies should, this one came with a crispy pastry top, stuffed underneath with generous chunks of slow cooked beef and plenty of juice. I opted for the roasted lamb rump with shallot purée, chantenay carrots and a celeriac fondant. The lamb was pink and delicious although I wasn’t sure which was the shallot purée and which the celeriac fondant, so they could have done with a little more seasoning each.

We shared a wonderfully crunchy apple and vanilla poached pear crumble with crème anglaise (£6) for dessert and finished off the evening with a couple more of those wonderful cocktails. Well, why not?

375 Lonsdale Road, Barnes SW13 9PY
020 8876 8877
hatchetts.london/barnes

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