The Worlds End Market Chelsea
459 Kings Road, SW10 0LR
020 7352 2150/www.theworldsendmarket.com
It’s got to be a good thing that some of London’s finest Victorian pubs are being refurbished and relaunched as eating places. I went to Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood before Xmas (see my review) which is quite stunning; and now the The World’s End Distillery, dating from 1897, has been spruced up and become The World’s End Market ‘an innovative culinary concept that genuinely believes in healthy, fresh and flavoursome food.’ Since I genuinely believe all of those things too I’m very happy to have been asked along to review!
The World’s End Market is at the centre of World’s End, a section of the King’s Rd where I spent rather too much of the late 70s and early 80s hanging around in clothes stores; Johnstone’s for new wave jackets and pointy shoes, P.W.Forte for grey 2 piece outfits à la Ultravox and American Classics for …American Classics. Vivian Westwood was a place to gawp and wonder whereas Anthony Price and his Bowie/Ferry suits were totally out of bounds.
It was always a bus ride to World’s End as there is no tube nearby and even with the Overground it’s a 15 minute yomp from West Brompton. This makes it a local restaurant and it was certainly busy with boisterous locals on the chilly Monday night that Catherine and I visited.
The “Market” concept has been tried and tested at the owner’s Crystal Palace location and the Chelsea interior is an attractive mix of classic fittings and contemporary retro. The menu offer is based around (mostly) locally sourced produce with the starters majoring in tartares and carpaccios, and the mains featuring a selection of charcoal-grilled fish, steaks and burgers alongside a few vegetarian dishes and sides.
But we hit the cocktails list first. A gingery Moscow Mule (£8) and classic Negroni (£8) are both straightforward but well blended versions of the classics.
Seafood soup with toasted olive bread (£6.50) had a deep, rich flavour and was clearly based on a proper stock. It wasn’t the most generous of servings and the accompanying bread was too dry and didn’t add anything to the dish.
Sea bass carpaccio with horseradish, lemon, shallots and truffle oil (£7.50) was almost a ceviche and zinged with flavour.
Whole Rainbow Trout (£17.50) was sourced from Hampshire and came with a decent salad and crisp fries. The skin could have been more blistered by the charcoal heat but the fish had good flavour and texture.
Monkfish (£24) from Brixham was delicious. Here the carbon had left its mark on the fish which brought out its sweetness. The parsley sauce that comes with each fish was too dense for me. Some olive oil and lemon would have been perfect. By now I was enjoying a crisp glass of Verdejo (£8.90) that was great with the fish.
A selection of English Cheese (£6) was served way too cold which was a shame.
With a few tweaks World’s End Market should become a firm local favourite-the interior has a lovely feel and the food offer is straightforward and attractive; for a fun evening out with friends or family it would be a perfect option.