Lots Road Pub and Dining Room
LOTS Road Pub and Dining Room is little more than a stone's throw away from Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club, but on the night I sampled their cuisine I would not describe it as Premiership class.
Perhaps I caught it on an off night or simply made the wrong choices from the menu - but I have to say it did not quite live up to the reputation it has gained as a stylish and well-regarded gastro pub.
It was bustling with diners and a few early evening drinkers on the Monday evening I went along, and it is clearly popular with the locals.
Situated just off the busy King's Road at the entrance to the fashionable Chelsea Harbour development, it looks like a typical London boozer.
Inside there was plenty of early evening chatter and clinking of glasses as we entered the spacious, airy bar.
We settled ourselves in the L-shaped alcove area - which is set aside just for diners and is quieter than the main pub.
The menu is not overcrowded but interesting enough to require some thought, so we mulled over it with a glass of the excellent Cotswold wheat beer; a bit pricey at £4.25 a pint, but one of an impressive number of ales served.
I started with the cheddar, mushroom and red pepper tart (£6), which was a posh word for what in my book was a wedge of flavourless quiche, distinctly lacking in red pepper. It was not helped by a few salad leaves that cried out for a splash of balsamic dressing - which would have helped to lift an otherwise disappointing dish.
My partner was happier with her prawn, avocado, baby gem and bacon salad with a marie rose sauce (£6.50), the only criticism being it was covered in more sauce than necessary, which destroyed some of the other flavours.
We washed this down with a glass of Cotes du Ventoux Greenache/Syrah from an impressive wine list which included other favourites like the Aussie Head over Heels Shiraz.
For my main course I went for the roast chicken breast with puy lentils, olives, air-dried ham and rocket pesto (£14). The chicken came well cooked but, though the different flavours worked well together, I did not love it.
The Aberdeen Angus cheeseburger and hand-cut chips (£10) seemed a popular choice with fellow diners and my partner was tempted - and pushed the boat out by adding bacon for an extra 50p.
Although properly cooked and tasty, the burger was served barely lukewarm and the cheese was not entirely melted. It had clearly been standing on a hot plate waiting for the chips to be cooked, which were piping hot and excellent.
A wide selection of desserts, such as dark chocolate fondant with cherry ice-cream and British Isles cheeses with homemade chutney sounded tempting, but we decided to watch our waistlines on this occasion.
Perhaps I was expecting more from Lots Road, but I left a little disappointed, both with the food and the overall dining experience.
Food is served Monday to Saturday, between 11am and 11pm, and Sunday from noon to 10.30pm.
LOTS ROAD PUB & DINING ROOM 114 Lots Road Chelsea 020 7352 6645