Picture sunny SW3, an open, airy space with tiled walls, original art deco features and white, pristine tablecloths: the mise-en-scène for Bibendum couldn’t be sweeter. Michelin House on Fulham Road is a double-decker-delight: upstairs, stained glass windows adorn the walls of what’s got to be London’s premier 3 Michelin star restaurant-in-waiting operated by the legendary Claude Bosi; downstairs, an entirely more casual Oyster Bar awaits.
The word ‘bar’ is a slight misnomer in this case as it’s more a restaurant than a watering hole, but there are some interesting ‘bar-ey’ touches. A decent (if diminutive) wine by the glass list for one, and an intriguing cocktail list which aims to serve up twists on old favourites.
Sampling the surprisingly joyous Fig Caipirinha (£14) almost made me forget the plummeting failure of a ‘White Negroni’ (£12) – a Lemsip coloured, over sour Negroni – but a great Viognier by the glass (£8) was an excellent recovery.
My main qualms lie in the slightly spendy food menu (expect to pay around £80-£90pp for 3 courses) and the slow service I experienced, which I fear is indicative of the greater industry staffing problems at the moment. That being said, if you came in for a few well-chosen cocktails and opted only for the seafood platter – which could comfortably serve 4 – you’d come in closer to £45 a head, which is highly desirable in this neck of the woods.
So second mortgages aside, pull up a chair at this buzzy Oyster bar, choose your drinks and dinner carefully and you’ll be glad you ventured out to the home of the Sloane rangers.
81 Fulham Road
by Mike Daw