One of D&D London’s many impressive restaurants within its portfolio, Bluebird is a Chelsea institution renowned for its fabulous location on the Kings Road and its well-heeled clientele who go to enjoy delicious food in elegant surroundings.
I had always assumed Bluebird was named after the bird bearing the same moniker, however, it was inspired by the Bluebird K7, the world’s first successful jet-powered hydroplane, which was driven by British racer Donald Campbell who set seven world water speed records between 1955 and 1967.
The décor is industrial chic / New York loft meets refined elegance. Floral displays and trees scattered throughout the restaurant create a sense of calm and bring a bit of the outdoors in, while soaring rust-coloured steel rafters and large leaded glass picture windows looking down onto the action of the Kings Road below create a striking focal point. Add to the mix lashings of 60s-inspired décor and I can’t help but think that Mad Men’s Donald Draper wouldn’t feel out of place sipping an Old Fashioned at the bar, while admiring the stylish diners from afar.
I’ve been to Bluebird on many an occasion for a lazy and indulgent brunch, but I’ve never been for dinner, so I was excited to try the new menu by Executive Chef Harvey Ayliffe. Bringing over 30 years’ diverse experience (including J Sheekey, Le Caprice, The Ivy and Soho House), Harvey’s updated edition of Bluebird’s menu reflects the fun-loving nature of the restaurant.
The new menu focuses on classic dishes with a new twist. There are comforting options such as the Bluebird chicken pie, with cep mushroom, smoked garlic mash and January king cabbage or for those who like a bit of spice, there are more exotic dishes to be had such as the Malvani monkfish & king prawn curry served with coconut chutney, lime rice and naan bread. There are also a selection of vegetarian and vegan options, including dishes like cumin roasted aubergine, toasted freekeh, pomegranate and pistachio dukka.
The chicken pie was like a comforting hug – the perfect meal for a cold, winter’s day. With lots of chunky veg and lashings of gravy, it was all the things a pie should be. Carrying on with the comfort food theme, we had the vegan truffle macaroni and cheese, which was actually quite nice given the bad rep vegan cheese has, although it wasn’t as creamy as traditional cheese, but that’s pretty difficult to replicate, to be fair. Although the macaroni was covered in truffle, it was actually very mild in flavour, so for those who find too much truffle overwhelming, it’s just right.
Other dishes we tucked into included the spatchcock chicken - a Caribbean-inspired dish with a mild bit of a kick, served with fresh slaw and shaved slices of mango and pineapple.
For dessert we went for the Bluebird –which consisted of chocolate and praline mousse, and candied hazelnuts and chocolate ice fashioned into a glittering blue version of the hydroplane served on a bed of dry ice for dramatic effect. Although it was tasty, I couldn’t really get my head around the look of it, but I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to desserts. The honeycomb mousse with caramelised banana and crushed biscuit ice cream, was much more to my liking, but it’s hard to go wrong with those flavours!
Bluebird Chelsea is the perfect place to visit when you want to enjoy a leisurely meal in gorgeous surroundings. In the heart of the action on the Kings Road, it’s the ideal place to visit after a spot of retail therapy.
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