Five Fields

Pearl S Buck , the Pulitzer Prize winner, wrote many many books, but the one which won this prestigious prize was called, The Good Earth.

Recently dear friends invited us to join them at a restaurant in Chelsea , London called the Five Fields. For some unexplained reason, I associated the name with the book, The Good Earth, and consequently imagined it to be an upmarket Chinese restaurant. Having “done” Michelin starred Indian and gourmet Spanish in recent weeks, I thought this could be fun!

Fun, it was but Chinese, it was not!

Five Fields is an up market British restaurant a short walk from Sloane Square underground station, and is named because once upon a time this area was called Five Fields or Ebury. However in 1666, it belonged to an heiress Mary Davies, who at the age of 12 married Sir Thomas Grosvenor. Other areas of London which were fields ( well most of it in fact) were Tyburn ( now Marble Arch) where public hangings took place and Buckingham Palace was a country estate surrounded by fields, and there were only 2 bridges over the Thames. All of this can be seen in  map created by John Roque in 1746. Fascinating stuff, but I digress.

So back to the restaurant Five Fields. A small elegant restaurant down a side street, the decor is smart and only seats about 35/40 people, the staff are very attentive and friendly, but not the ‘ in your face’ sort of way. A couple of years ago, it was the home to a Spanish restaurant, but after an extensive makeover became Five Fields.

  The tables are nicely arranged in tows and fours but presumably they can be re arranged to accommodate 6. 

Let us start with the wine list, a very nice wine list indeed but with a mark up of about 3 times retail . I understand that restaurants have to make money somewhere, but given that retail prices include a profit, a 3 times mark up is a bit excessive. However it was still very nice.

The menu for such a nice restaurant is £55 for three courses and is innovative. Although as you can see from below, it needs a little translation or understanding!

  So for starters, we chose the Fois Gras with the beetroot and the Sweet breads. The fois Gras was amazing actually with what looked like a small beetroot, which was in fact the fois Gras, which I presume was wrapped in a coating of beetroot, , absolutely delicious . The sweet breads were equally good, looked beautiful, decorated with small flowers. 


 For the main course, tow of us chose the Roe Deer, one the Cod and one the Herdwick Mutton. Once upon a time, the word Mutton conjured up, something old and tough and almost inedible, a really cheap cut of meat, that would be stewed for hours along with some root vegetables, and usually not very tasty at all, but would feed a large family relatively cheaply. For the most part today, sheep meat is lamb, young and tender,mount with modern farming methods and the trend to re-introduce rare breeds and old fashioned cuts of meat, Mutton has once again hit the menus, but rest assured it is nothing like it was before. 

The roe deer, was melt in the mouth and served rare. And the cod, which apparently was wonderful even though the portion was very much on the small side .



 The dessert menu, really did need some deciphering, and so we more or less took pot luck, how difficult is that? . 


I seriously can not remember which one is which, however they all looked beautiful, I do know that I ate the chocolate one, Which was divine, and given that a) I do not have a sweet tooth and b) that I do not normally eat desserts, that is praise indeed . Would I go again, yes ( with reservations ie the price of wine) and would I recommend it and that is certainly a Yes.

Five Fields

8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London, SW3 2SP, United Kingdom

Another Continent, Another country, Another Dinner, but same restaurant!

Yes another dinner, from a different continent and different country but in the same restaurant. Hard to beleive, but true. The private restaurant on Londons Pall Mall,  hosted the dining experience from Benares and then last week, hosted  a dining experience from La residencia’s El Olivio, which is normally found in the town of Deia, Majorca. The setting there is beautiful as is the restaurant itself. Dinner is served on the most wonderful assortment of colourful glass plates. My best friend from Houston Texas was visiting, she too fell in love with the dinnerware, so off we went to buy some for ourselves. I have to say we did not buy any. Firstly it was fairly expensive, but cost aside, it weighs a ton and so to export it either as hand luggage or to ship, would not be a reall viable option, Ah well dream on.

Our visit to La residencia in London, actually did not happen. Having discussed with the restaurant before hand that two of our party were pescatorians, we were assured that there would be suitabel options for them. Alas it did not happen. The set menu which sounded wonderful, was available for the tabel as a whole, but when we enquired about the non-meat option, we were told PASTA!!!, I have to say, I was really not pleased, firstly not an option on an already fairly expensive menu and secondly, hardly Spanish.

Consequently we all were required to take the a la carte option. Having eaten in this restaurant several times, we were not disappointed in the food, far from it and the waiter went to great lengths to ensure were happy and were in fact served a course from the El Olivio menu,  ( the tartare of Wild Sea Bass )  which was delicious.,  we also had a smapling of the dessert from the menu, which was crispy cannelloni stuffed with white chocolate mousse and served with passion fruit sorbet. Our guests, had sampled once before, whilst in Spain, crispy cannelloni, and were interested to try it, as they had not been overwhelmed previoulsy. However this time round it was a hit.

So despite our disappointment at not being able to try  El Olivio’s food once again, our dinner was very good and you can see below. Our extra course was the the Tartare of Wild Sea bass, followed by fillet of sole, Turbot, Hereford Beef or Veal Cutlets. I personally chose the Veal cutlet, which was really tasty. 

Todays veal industry has changed and is no longer the pariah that it once was. “Rosé veal is 100 per cent welfare friendly in the way the animals are reared,” The world is short of food and it’s  a waste for bull calves not to come into the food chain, previoulsy they were just slaughtered, as there is only one Bull per herd, otherwise they would all be fighting pover the cows!  

Rosé veal is similar to beef but with a smoother texture, a richer taste and is lower in fat and cholesterol. While it is available in the same cuts as beef – steak, roasting joints, escalopes, mince and casserole meat – there are additional specialities such as liver and shin (Osso Bucco).

Unlike white veal where the calf is reared to 16 to 20 weeks old entirely on milk, the rosé veal is fed milk replacer to a maximum of seven litres a day until they are eight weeks old by which time they have been weaned onto a calf pellet. They are straw bedded until they are eight months old.

Too many Indians

     A few years ago, the Indian government declared that I was an undesirable and as such would not grant me an extension to my Visa. I thought of just staying on, but the local “Fixer” was heard to say” Oh No Sir, not a good idea Sir, Mother in law end up in Jail Sir” so needless to say. not fancying my chances in the largest prison in South Asia, I was persuaded it best to leave!

As a compensation we dined in a restaurant called “Indian Accents” and what Himself described as the best meal he had ever eaten. Indian Accents is a restaurant in a boutique Hotel, called the Manor. This in turn is owned by an Indian run company that runs more than 40 hotels and a few restaurants. Among them is Chor Bizarre ( chor =thief and Bizarre= well Bizarre!) Chor Bizarre is to be found in Connaught Place, New Delhi in a building which is typical of Luytens Delhi and is quite frankly BIZARRE, but the food is great! And more to come as there is a branch of this restaurant in London!! So I must put it on my “must try” list.

So onto another Indian restaurant in Central London, called Banares. And it has a Michelin Star! I first went there with ” The Ladies Who Lunch”. 

Lunch time is always affordable and we were not disappointed. However this weekend, was another dining experience, a private event, hosted by the chef/owner of Benares and his team. Atul Kochhar, started his career in New Delhi  working for the Oberoi group of hotels ( and I have to say that breakfast in the Oberoi was always good). So in London, he runs Benares and has recently opened Sindhu in Marlow. He is also involved with some cruise lines and a coup for Marks and Spencer, he is their consultant for their Indian Range of foods.

So we were wined and dined and the evening started with a cocktail called, Mumbai Sling, a drink made with gin, lime juice, palm sugar and ice. I have to say it tasted much like my own version of a Citron Presse ( fortified that is) pressed lemons sugar and gin, so good you think you are just drinking lemonade, how wrong can you be?? 

So onto our dinner. For the amuse bouche we were served Aloo Chaat Anarkali ( potato salad with sweet yoghurt foam and pomegranite sauce). For the starter it was Thandi Jal Murghi, ( Duck terrine with Bakarh bread and tamarind chutney). 

I have eaten Aloo Chat several times whilst in India, this was a much more refined version.The duck terrine was lovely and so was the bread, a sort of glazed and crisp naan, hoever the swish of sauce on the plate is never my favourite,  and this was no exception, it looked pretty but by the time it arrived on the table, and as the plates were warm, it had dried and hence no sauce, a shame really. 

The fish course was Meen Moilee, Sea Bass with coconut gravy and beetroot mash, a lovely contrast of a creamy yellow sauce and deep red/burgundy of the beetroot. The main course was equaly delicious and consisted of Chaampan Da Saag Gosht, Rack of Lamb with Polenta and spinach puree.

Indian meals do not usually have a great selction of desserts, but this time we were in for a treat, it was something called Rangeela, which was Cardamon and orange sponge with three different types of Ice Cream, Raspberry, Pistachio and ginger. along wth some softe berries on the side.

So Atul has written another book, and I think it is already on my Wish list, after all, what makes for better bedtime reading, than another cook book. It has been said that Britian has become obsessed with cooking shows on TV and the purchase of cookery books. The average home has a dozen books but only cooks from 9 recipes!, not in this household, my mother onced remarked that she never knew what she was going to be given for dinner in my house! And that is surely true, just ask Himself !