Eelbrook is a glass restaurant that traces the periphery of Eel Brook Common in Fulham. No? I hadn’t heard of Eel Brook Common either. I had rather hoped it was named after some curious 18th Century jellied eel tradition but unfortunately not. I made plans to go with an old University friend on a rainy Thursday evening but regretted it as soon as my bus expired about halfway down the Kings Road. As I looked out of the rain-streaked windows, my heart began to sink at the memory of expensive nights out with the red-trouser brigade which often ended in a paramedic’s van. Why have I come back to this place?
But forget my bitter Fulham-resentment because Eelbrook turned out to be fabulous. The intimate venue is designed by Haruo Morishima who did Hakkasan Las Vegas. Thankfully the sleek design of this restaurant leans much further towards the clean lines and minimalist architecture of Japan rather than the electric vulgarity of Sin City. The restaurant looks out across the green and has a set of outdoor tables for the ten days in July that constitute our summer.
This is a haven for serious food lovers, thanks to head chef Brett Barnes who has previously worked his magic at foodie meccas Arbutus, Hix and Ducksoup. We had Lincolnshire Smoked Eel (£7.50) and Purple Sprouting Broccoli (£7) followed by tender Elwy Valley Lamb Shoulder (£18) and juicy Paddock Farm Pork Chop (£18) – all generously portioned and delicious. For pudding, we shared the Buttermilk Panna Cotta (£6), which unfortunately resulted in an aggressive, unspoken contest for the largest helping. This British-Mediterranean food is so delectable that it will erode your sense of decency, politeness and possibly even your relationship.
Take an elegant Sloane who loves wine and thinks that ‘game’ best refers to things that can be blasted out of the sky. Go for drinks before the sun sets and then glide into a three course dinner before she can tell you that she’s just broken up with someone and isn’t looking for anything serious. Drink lots of red wine but leave before the evening descends into bacchanalian revelry.
Glass isn’t the most effective insulator. Bring an extra jumper in the colder months.