Review: Napa Restaurant at the Chiswick Moran Hotel, W4
It’s a bit of a journey outside Central London, a short walk from Gunnersbury station on the District line, but it’s always nice to investigate places that are a little bit outside our usual area. Napa is part of the large 4* Chiswick Moran hotel near the newish business park in Chiswick, so as you’d expect it’s patrons are usually locals, hotel guests or business people visiting or working close by. The restaurant itself is situated to the right of reception, while the Globe bar (which shows sports on the main screen and apparently does a fairly good cocktail) sits to the left.
The restaurant’s menu is split into two sections; British and, as the name suggests, Californian. Prices are extremely reasonable, and the selection is wide with some great healthy(ish) options, which is a pleasant change after fattening up for Christmas!
Starters are fairly standard and include Buffalo mozzarella, grilled Mediterranean vegetables & Balsamic glaze; pan-fried king Scallops, with onion puree and tomato chutney; Dorset crab and of course, soup of the day. After a mini squabble (we always want the same thing…) I chose the scallops, and James chose the soup of the day, which was creamy artichoke and garlic.
We were both ravenous, and as the restaurant was understandably quiet for one of the first Mondays in January, we were looking forward to the fast delivery of our food. It arrived promptly – although James’ soup was so hot that I’d already finished my course before his was edible! The scallops were OK…cooked just right but a little gritty, which was a shame. The onion puree was lovely, but the tomato chutney a little overpowering – leaving the dish a little imbalanced.
For main course, he chose Venison, while I opted for the “open” Beef Wellington, with a side of creamed cauliflower and wilted spinach. Both were cooked beautifully; my dish looked fantastic and the sauce was especially delicious. James rated it an 8/10 – which is pretty good for him.
We were full and trying to be as healthy as possible, so instead of full desserts we decided to share 3 scoops of ice-cream/sorbet. There’s a good selection, but we went for vanilla and strawberry ice creams with mixed berry sorbet. The vanilla ice cream was absolutely wonderful - creamy, with just the right amount of fresh vanilla, and it calmed down the sharpness of the mixed berry sorbet perfectly. We didn’t manage to complete all three, but it was the ideal way to finish our meal.
So…how do I feel about Napa. Foodwise, it was pretty good, and apart from those gritty scallops there is nothing to complain about, we enjoyed every bite. The lime green/wood interior is bright, modern and attractive which helps make the large space welcoming. I can’t fault it for atmosphere as we expected it to be quiet at this time of year, and rather liked the fact that the tables were well spaced (it’s a pet peeve of mine to be almost knocking elbows with your dining neighbour). I think it’s unfortunately always going to suffer a little for being attached to such a huge, 60′s style grey hotel as it may not be the sort of place you’d automatically select, but there’s no reason not to. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, varied menu with a good selection of tasty options, it’s certainly one to try…especially if you’re local. Overall, a pleasant and enjoyable meal!
Photos taken on the Nokia Lumia 900