Sam’s Brasserie & Bar opened in 2005 and is located just off the High Road in the heart of Chiswick in West London. An all-day every day venue, Sam’s is spearheaded by co-owner Sam Harrison, who previously worked with Rick Stein in Padstow.
We arrived midweek on a warm late August evening to find a busy bar and dining area filled with what appeared to be smartly dressed regulars either catching up over a glass of wine or enjoying their dinner. The very welcoming restaurant manager sat us right in the middle of the dining room: formerly a paper factory, now an interesting, well-designed space.
Signs of its industrial past remain and are features of its décor designed by designLSM: the restaurant’s plain concrete floor and painted brick walls are balanced with smart design touches such as bookcases, a picture of a Spanish matador and comfortable furnishings, to create a welcoming room.
The menus at Sam’s feature everything from light fish dishes to serious roasts so there is something for everyone, as our waiter explained. For starters, I opted for my all time favourite – globe artichoke – which arrived beautifully presented, the sweet hazelnut vinaigrette complementing the earthy taste of the artichoke perfectly. Despite my date long having been suspicious of cold soups, he found his Gazpacho refreshing, and full of ripe, summery flavours.
On to mains, and the whole rack of baby back ribs with house marinade and Cajun spiced sweet potato wedges, served as a very generous portion, was a flavoursome dish with a lot of meat on the bone, and a perfect sized main course for my plus one.
My confit duck salad with French beans, baby beetroot and an orange and walnut dressing was another winner, the salty and crispy duck working really well with the tangy orange, making this a dish to remember. The side of mashed potato was excellent, though perhaps unnecessary, given the generous portion of my main.
One of the main things that Sam’s Brasserie prides itself on is flexibility. But I was still surprised when, after jokingly making a comment about ordering French toast with fresh bananas and a melted dark chocolate sauce for dessert, it actually arrived a few minutes later. What is really worrying is the fact that I managed to devour the entire thing.
My plus one chose a less extravagant and more appropriate dessert option of chocolate and almond cheesecake. Not the highlight of his meal but again, the dish was presented in a mouth watering way and he managed to finish the entire slice. Service was friendly and efficient, there was a lively, buzzy atmosphere all evening and overall, our food was very enjoyable.
Having lived here for the past 4 years, I am aware of the wide variety of restaurants that Chiswick has to offer but Sam’s is one of the better ones, offering an extensive but affordable wine list. There is a separate bar area, with its own menu, and various events, such as whisky tastings, and Jazz evenings on Sunday.
The Concierge’s Tip: Sit at one of the booths in the centre of the main restaurant – the booths are intimate enough for a date but you can also see right through the glass panelling into the kitchen.
A Bonus Concierge’s Tip: Tweet with special requests before coming to the restaurant as owner Sam is very responsive and makes sure every guest feels special by tweeting back immediately.
Sam’s Brasserie & Bar is open daily from 9am until late. The full address is Barley Mow Centre, 11 Barley Mow Passage, Chiswick, London W4 4PH.
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