Charlotte’s W5 Ealing
The restaurant is described as being ‘your third place for work, play and everything in between’ and certainly the converted stable block where it sits is spacious, modern and comfortable with the menu being extremely flexible, divided into brunch, savoury and sweet dishes with taster, small and large portions. The drinks menu is pretty extensive with an intriguing cocktail list so while Fiona and I navigated the menu I sank a poky Ginger Lemonade (£3.50) whilst Fiona chose a Gin & Tea Party (£9.50)-a mix of gin and green tea which was refreshing but slightly too sweet for her.We started with some small plates. Crunchy fennel beignets (£3) came with a deliciously spikey sauce Gribiche-it was actually not really a beignet at all which is a New Orleans style doughnut but was good all the same.Truffle Arancini with artichoke Purée (£3) were hot, crisp and dry with just about enough truffle flavour coming through.Octopus confit with egg yolk, bottarga and crispy squid (£4) was a pretty dish that needed a bit more punch and some bottarga!Chicory salad with blood orange, Cashel blue cheese and candied walnut (£6) was a very satisfying take on this classic salad-lots of tastes and textures combining successfully.Tarte Fine of Heirloom tomato, tomato and basil consommé (£7) had a crisp base and ripe full-flavoured tomatoes for a perfect early summer’s dish, with the consommé being perfectly balanced. I loved this.A plate of Burrata, butternut squash, salad, pine nuts and sage (£7) must be the best value portion of good quality Burrata to be had in London-this was a really great plate of food.Truffle and artichoke risotto (£6)could have been a little less heavy on the salt for me but it was well-made and perfectly al dente.Perfect cooked cod loin (£8) came served with clams, some lovely kale parsley and a light and frothy mousseline sauce.A deconstructed rabbit ragu with linguine (£4) was not as successful according to Fiona who found it tricky to eat although tasty.We really didn’t need desserts after our feast but hey-ho…That rarity a hazelnut tart was light and not too sweet and was well matched with a great caramelised white chocolate ice-cream (£3). Chocolate mousse came with lovely creamy egg yolk and a rich chocolate ice cream with a gooey caramel sauce (£3).
I’d love to have a place like Charlotte’s W5 in my neighbourhood- a few of the dishes need a tweak but it’s still very early days and the menus are full of things you want to eat and drink in a space that is as flexible as you need it to be-whether you want to work solo, have a hot date or a big party. It’s differentiated enough from the rest of the group to have its own identity and is perfect for the bright young professionals setting up home in Ealing.