It only seems like yesterday the famous Chelsea complex, Bluebird opened but in fact it has been around for over 20 years now. It was unsurprising, they decided to close their restaurant recently for a significant £2 million refurbishment. We went along to check out the redesigned restaurant and the updated menu from Chef Liam Smith-Laing, who has moved from their sister restaurant 100 Wardour Street.
The exterior hasn’t changed at all; what you might be surprised to find is they have a relaxed cafe, wine cellar and an extensive clothing store which stock high-end designer brands like Alexander McQueen.
Haven’t not visited Bluebird previously, I can’t compare with its previous incarnation. The present design is a refreshing blend of plush leather seating with well-polished tables alongside calming foliage with splashes of colour dotted throughout the dining room. What really catches the eye are the bright red industrial steel frames on the ceiling which dates back to the time when the building was the Bluebird Motor Company back in 1923.
Their new menu has plenty to offer especially in terms of small plates. This is the kind of restaurant where you can come in share small plates and sip on refreshing cocktails with your friends at any time of the day. One of my favourite dish here is the burrata, datterini tomatoes and basil. It’s the kind of dish that is easy to make if you source your ingredients well. The burrata has a buttery smoothness which is befitting of its name (burrata means buttery in Italian) whilst the tomatoes from Sicily are ultra-sweet and the perfect foil for the creaminess of the burrata.
Queen scallops are beautifully presented and great tasting with the smokiness from the chorizo and fruitiness from the apple. The only issue I have are queen scallops are so small in size, you can barely taste the flavours of the sea from the scallop meat.
There are the typical larger dishes like steaks and roast baby chicken for the traditionalist. However, I tried a light, healthy tasting grilled yellow fin tuna with cauliflower tabbouleh. The tuna is beautifully charred on the outside with the centre still refreshingly pink with the tabbouleh infusing the dish with extra flavours and spiciness.
We managed to try a large selection of the desserts which were all expertly made. My favourite was the blueberry marinated pineapple carpaccio. It is a colourful dish, which is light, appealing and perfect for those calorie-conscious amongst us.
They do have an extensive wine list, but I would suggest trying one of their twisted classic cocktails like lychee and rose martini, which is a light, delicate cocktail that goes well with most of their small sharing plates.