So, anyone who is on the international party circuit or who travels to London on a regular basis probably knows by now that Chiltern Firehouse has been usurped. These days, everyone is talking about Sexy Fish, the latest hot new restaurant in London. The reason it has been getting so much attention is that a lot of famous people go there, the prices are high, and the people are glittery. The restaurant also has a very pricey art collection – much of it designed specifically for the restaurant by famous artists. Hardly anyone is able to get a reservation and bar is packed. So, once I got a reservation, I was really, really excited. I was in!
My reservations was super early – at 5:30pm – so I left straight from work and changed in the bathroom once I arrived. The coat room is downstairs near the restrooms so it’s not a big problem. I went with a friend who had been there the weekend before with another girlfriend of hers and she really enjoyed it a lot. Apparently, there was a live singer when she was there previously. I got to the table at 6pm and my friend was already waiting for me. We started off by ordering some wine and chose a couple of appetizers. I was facing the bar and could not help but notice the amazing paper mache fish hanging from the ceiling. The appetizers were just so-so. I had been excited about the duck salad but sadly it did not have very much duck in it.
They recommend getting one entrée each and two sides per person and that was more than enough. Everything is designed to be shared. I really enjoyed the sticky ribs but I will warn you that they are really sticky and messy. Ask for a finger bowl and don’t order this option if you are on a date.
Halfway through dinner a huge balloon bouquet appeared at the back section of the restaurant. Lots of the guests around us started to guess what they spelled (more on this later). There was a really jovial mood but you’ll have to remember that the tables are only available for two hours. You’ll start to get a lot of pressure to leave as your booking time gets closer. They mixed up our order a lot as well. My friend noted that the service had been a lot better when she had been there on the weekend.
I ordered dessert – some extremely intense citrus and cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate. At that point, the table next to us on the left was being hustled out to the bar and new people had joined on the right. A guy at table on the right leaned over and asked whether it was true if we were all going to get hustled out after two hours, especially since his reservation would begin at 8pm. I let him know that they had a 10pm sitting, so the reservation was probably going to be two hours for him too. It was a Thursday night but it felt a bit rushed.
And the bill was….
Two glasses of wine, four appetizers, two main dishes and one dessert came out to about£72 each (we split the bill). Overall, I would recommend sticking with a restaurant like Sketch or Chiltern Firehouse if you want a place that is beautiful with great food and service. The ambiance was really amazing but the service was not amazing. At Sketch I feel like I am constantly being watched (in a good way) to see if I need anything. The food at Chiltern is crazy tasty. At Sexy Fish, I felt like I was paying for the ambiance and the pleasure of being around a lot of other chic people. The truth though is that I need more than that to make an experience spectacular.
It is a great place to see and be seen though. We bumped into David Beckham at the coat check before we left. On the way out we realized that the balloons spelled “Brooklyn”, the name of his oldest son, who was having his birthday party there that night.