I don't usually start a restaurant story off by referencing Jordan, aka Katie Price, but I recently read that she is reportedly worth a bomb of cash. I was baffled by this as I didn't actually know what she did for a living apart from being a former Page 3 Topless model that cavorted around the world with her husband Peter Andre and kids. I queried my friends, they too were unaware of how this fortune materialised. It wasn't until my sister forwarded me an article from the NY Times about Bluebird cafe, after we had dined there, that a satisfactory explanation was offered regarding Jordan's fortune. And how is Jordan related to Bluebird cafe? Jordon was interviewed there and this evening, my sister and her friends Candy and Mark dine at BlueBird cafe, a Conran restaurant in fashionable Chelsea. See? It was related, although I'm betting you thought I'd lost my mind.
Like all things Conran, it looks spectacular. We're confronted by a large white building (a converted 1930's garage) in prime real estate position on Chelsea's Kings Road and to the right there is a shop and to the left is a smaller cafe and upstairs is the restaurant. We expect to be directed to the smaller cafe but instead are shown upstairs to the huge restaurant with stunning flower arrangements and decor. There is a bunch of "suits" around the bar area and we're asked three times by the ponytailed matching outfitted Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" women at the door whether we need anything checked at the cloakroom. After the third time, one of them rushes forward to tell the other that we've already been asked.
We're shown to our table in the centre of the room, apparently they had wanted to seat us near the kitchen but a quick word to the staff and we had been relocated to a better table. The bread is decent and we're choosing from the 3 course menu for £18.50.
Salad of shaved foie gras
We select 3 dishes from each course and service is smooth, despite what some reviews say. The first entree I try is the shaved foie gras salad. The shaved foie gras isn't quite enough to cover the bitter leaves and I find myself leaving most of this behind. Indeed I see Candy has left her salad behind too as it is way too bitter.
The second entree is the pork rillette which is served with thin toast and caramelised onions. This dish is more my style and I finish every part of my share. The caramelised onions are a sweet touch and I think I could do away with the toast altogether and have this with a mixed leaf salad, rillette and the onions.
Escalope of organic salmon with pak choi, sesame, ginger, black beans and seaweed
The mains arrive and mine is the salmon. It's actually delicious, perfectly cooked and still moist in the centre. The asian side salad is sweet and sings with flavour and I thoroughly enjoy this. Good thing as everyone else at the table seems a bit disappointed in their mains.
Hardwick Mutton leg steak with parsley salad, olives, capers and vine tomato
My husband's mutton is an exercise in separating the edible from the inedible. He says that the actual edible parts are good but he finds himself leaving half of it behind as it is chewy and inedible. I suppose this is why Mutton steak rarely features on a menu.
Escalope of Cumbrian rose veal with proscuitto, semolina gnocchi and sage leaves
The veal although I didn't taste this is reportedly very chewy and gets a thumbs down from those at the table that ordered it. Disappointingly, the semonlina gnocchi turns out to be a portion of creamed semolina, not in gnocchi form.
After a brief break, our desserts arrive. Mine, the lemon posset is a rather firm dessert, if a little too firm, like a pudding that has been left in the fridge a bit too long. The raspberries and thinly sliced lemon rind are delicious at the top but there is no way I can finish this.
The Strawberry fool is a good, safe dish, ordered as we'd seen it brought to other tables. It's good with sweet strawberries and whipped cream.
The sundae gets an "average" from Blythe who says that she can make a better one at home. Indeed, she needs to ask for more chocolate topping on hers.
I leave all of you Harry Potter fans (and I emphatically include myself in this group) with some pictures of Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station. They've actually added 1/4 of a luggage trolley so that you too can pretend to be crossing the threshold to Hogwarts. I wonder if this was necessary due to the number of people crashing trolleys into the wall!
Bluebird Restaurant and Club
350 Kings Road Chelsea
Tel: 020 7 559 1000
Vegetarian options: very few on the menu