Sam's Brasserie & Bar
Reviewed by Sean Dodson
Chiswick is one of the best places in London to do brunch. The west London suburb is the capital’s dead centre of the baby belt and its high concentration of affluent families allied to its relative peacefulness make it an ideal location to enjoy that most leisurely of meals.
Just set off from the high street, in a converted paper factory, lies Sam Brasserie, an imposing, modern, loft-like space of exposed brick and pop art. The eponymous Sam in question is Sam Harrison, a former colleague of Rick Stein, the weepy-eyed TV chef who remains an investor in the business.
As in keeping with the pop art theme, its clear Sam is a fan of lower Manhattan, there’s a large brunch menu that encompasses all flavours of New York. French toast, with either banana and chocolate sauce or bacon and maple syrup or perhaps confit duck hash, fried egg and spinach to choose from.
Somehow, though we couldn’t resist Sam’s full English (£10.50). And glad we were too. It was one of the most beautifully presented breakfasts we had seen brought to a table. Each component was arranged around the plate like the dial of a clock set around a ramekin of baked beans. What’s more, each of the ingredients was locally-sourced and you sense that Stein’s hand in the attention to detail. The bacon was supremely lean, to the point of being almost ham like; the sausages, also sourced from the nearby Macken Brothers butchers (the sort of place the locals queue outside to get in), were as fat as Cuban cigars and as juicy as a lychee. On the other side of the table my friend was tucking into eggs benedict, two firmly poached eggs, served on an English muffin with a hollandaise sauce covering the concoction like a yellow silk sheet of buttery wonder. The toast was good too.
For “desert”, and perhaps inspired by the American spirit of the place, we ordered two Bloody Mary’s (£8 each). Quite rightfully the waiter asked how spicy we wanted them. We said spicy and were rewarded with an appropriately fiery, half-litre of thick tomato juice and vodka cocktail served in a salt-rimmed glass. The juice was enough to blast the cobwebs of our party the night before, although it took a glug of water before we could attempt a second gulp.
There’s a lot of competition for Brunch in Chiswick. Sam’s is a high-end, without being starchy and as close as you can get to a proper New York experience in as West London suburb on Sunday morning as you are likely to get.
For more information to book a table visit www.samsbrasserie.co.uk