The Chancery Restaurant

IMG_4572The team at Chancery London know more about their prominent legal niche market than lawyers do. Set deep in the heart of the “People’s Republic of Chancery Lane”, the restaurant is a staging area, almost the last bastion, against the fight for a long lunch. The Chancery’s been tucked away in Cursitor Street since 2004 and you could easily forget it’s there. The recent addition of new Head Chef Simon Christey-French has reignited the menu with his experienced touch on modern European food.

If Christey-French was a lawyer his CV would be the kind that a law firm’s HR department would salivate over. Formal training, known reputable firms, he’s won national prizes and an odd fact to tick the “well-rounded” box – a stint as Richard Branson’s private chef.

In the Chancery’s light, mirrored dining room, the heavyweight crowd filed in to swill through its well-travelled wine list (though not travelled as far south to Australia I note) and tuck into its hearty fulfilling protein rich menu. They thankfully take bookings but don’t try for a table on the day you want to go for lunch, you will unlikely get one.

The menu is a la carte menu offers two Courses for £32.50 or three for £42.50. There is a six course tasting menu for £50.00 (with matching wines for £72.50) for the hungry, but our lunch was the three.

My three courses started with the foie gras served as smoked ballotine and parfait, bedded on puffed buckwheat with some fig chutney and chestnut sourdough. The buckwheat gave a needed texture to the livery foie. The soft perfect medium-more-rare venison second course with apple, beetroot and celeriac was a modern presentation that may bewildered the old school diner and in spite of petit appearances was filling. With hindsight the size helped by leaving enough room for pudding.

I inhaled the lighter than air blueberry soufflé with pistachio ice-cream quicker than a law firm charges one unit of time. The desserts were a master craft highpoint; it’s even possible that the Chancery may have even turned my “I don’t eat puddings” legal mate into a zealot convert with its take on a chocolate “milk shake” deconstruction.

The Chancery’s owner, Zac Jones, has managed to craft a restaurant that will appeal to every level of the legal strata. It’s quite easy to imagine the magic circle lot happily dining there (if they ever got out of their offices) as it would be niche firms, those on pupillage and even some of the endangered Rumpole-esque duffers, they’d enjoy it too. Those who may not find it appealing are the fooderati and frankly, let them go queue in the cold elsewhere, I’d rather be shown to my table cloth covered table and given some fresh sourdough.

The menu is a happy combination for the £42.50 fixed price, attentive service and a proper long lunch. If you’re still there, enjoying yourself once the dining room has all but emptied, you’re doing it right.

Lunch for 2 with one bottle of wine and water approximately £130.

The Chancery, No.9 Cursitor Street – EC4. Telephone 020 7831 4000 or Tweet Zak @chancerylondon

Published by Brett

Brett is an experienced lawyer and business executive who focuses on commercial outcomes. He has worked across three sectors in England & Australia advising and leading initiatives in digital, media and technology

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