Restaurant Review: Goat Chelsea, Fulham Road in London
Leading food and drink writer Kris Griffiths vists Goat Chelsea, the modern Italian restaurant and cocktail bar located on Fulham Road in south west London.
There is always something beguiling about a restaurant that houses the more hidden, historical side to London beyond its front door. Goat, on Fulham Road, equidistant between Fulham Broadway and South Kensington tube stations, does not disappoint on this front.
Formerly a tavern which occupied the site for more than 300 years, the transformed space retains a distinctive vintage vibe with distressed-chic décor, exposed stone and metal, and carefully sourced furnishings like leather banquettes and thick curtains.
It now comprises an all-day restaurant, a secret cocktail bar (more on that later) and lounge on different floors, and is bustling on most days of the week.
For now, on a Sunday evening, my companion and I take a table on the mezzanine level – a quirky layout touch – overlooking the main restaurant area and open kitchen. The menu here offers a modern take on Italian inspired food, with a selection of grilled meat and fish dishes alongside a range of imaginatively topped pizzas which are baked in a traditional wood-fired oven.
While my pescatarian partner, delighted by the possibilities, opts for a calamari fritti with basil mayo starter followed by sea bass with miso and pomodori secchi, I go for pork belly to open and can’t resist one of the speciality pizzas to follow: goat’s cheese, goat meat and caramelised onions, a creative combination I’ve not encountered before.
While the fish dishes were well presented and substantial, I certainly did not regret ordering the pizza,which was authentically prepared and eased down nicely with a Sicilian red. Desserts likewise did not disappoint: a zesty mango sorbet and an indulgent take on a sticky toffee pudding recommended by our knowledgeable waitress.
But more was to follow the meal, with Goat truly coming into its own with the option of a post-prandial drink downstairs in the ‘Chelsea Prayer Room’ – a clandestine, atmospherically-lit cocktail bar, replete with leather sofas, luxurious cushions and further vintage touches like dark wood cabinets filled with old books and bric-a-brac. And the bar menu itself encompasses a different cocktail for each letter of the alphabet, meaning you could try a new one every week for a whole half of a year.
There are other offerings to draw you back to this unique Chelsea venue, like the popular bottomless brunch every Saturday which includes as much prosecco, wine or Bloody Marys as you can handle within two hours. Last month they also hid 99 cards around London with a code to gain entry to an exclusive party in the secret bar, with complimentary cocktails to reward the lucky finders.
It’s the kind of inventive touch that has distinguished Goat from its competitors on the crowded local scene and firmly established its presence within it. With 300 years of history already behind the venue, here’s to a rosy future in its present incarnation.
Address: 333 Fulham Road, London SW10 9QL / 020 7352 1384