I rarely venture out to West London but when I do I enjoy a taste of the high life. I enjoy roaming around the streets pretending the prettiest houses are mine and I imagine what life would be like living in complete and utter luxury. It’s enjoyable but heart-breaking so I don’t do it too often. Last night was an exception, The Artisan Bistro on Hollywood Road showcases an innovative take on Mediterranean cuisine, serving small plates, traditional favourites and one of the best seafood dishes I’ve ever tasted.

We started the meal how every good meal starts. Warm bread with balsamic and olive oil and a cocktail. The cocktail was Amaretto based and sour and went down a treat. The bread did a wonderful job at satisfying the hunger until our starters arrived.

Starters came in the form of Sautéed Padron Peppers with Orange & Sherry Drizzle and Crispy Aubergine with Soy Caramel, both items I find hard to resist on any menu. Having tried enough aubergine dishes in my life time to rival a hard-core vegetarian I can be trusted when I say this was one of the good ones. Crispy, hot breadcrumbs encompass even hotter, soft, juicy aubergine flesh and the whole thing is drizzled in a sticky, caramely, salty soy dressing. Padron Peppers are always something of a risk but I’m lucky to only have every had one bad experience with a hot one. These came with no nasty surprises, were cooked to perfection and the orange and sherry drizzle gave them a nice citrusy kick!

To keep us going until our mains arrived we were served Truffle Fries with Parmesan and a Kale Salad with Parmesan and Pomegranate – chips and kale couldn’t be more of a contradiction but that’s how I live my life and I don’t care. The kale makes up for the chips anyway right? It’s a superfood! Anything covered in truffle oil and parmesan goes down as a winner in my book and the kale salad didn’t disappoint.

For my main course I went for the Lobster Linguine. Of course, when in Rome. Scottish Lobster, Black Linguine, Mussels, Prosecco and Truffle Butter come together to from one of the most divine seafood dishes I’ve ever come across and I could not praise it any higher.  

My date had the Spinach Risotto with Green Peas and Grana Padano, which she enjoyed thoroughly. Maybe taking a seafood fearing friend to a restaurant that’s menu is 90% seafood wasn’t the greatest idea but she was extremely satisfied with her meal and had no complaints to make.

Surprisingly, after all this food we still had space for dessert. It’s a different hole right? We went for the Chocolate Tart with Bailey’s Cream and Rhubarb Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm is all I have to say.

The interior features modern art from local artists, the wine selection is from small artisanal and iconic producers and the (beautiful) outside space is DOG FRIENDLY. I know right. We spent the meal surrounded by three of the cutest dogs I’ve ever met. Rory Tucker, Pogo Stick & Freddie – two Pomeranians and a Maltese, I was in my element.

The Artisan is everything you expect of a restaurant in Chelsea; classy, gourmet and incredible for people watching. Such a hidden gem and well worth the trip.

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