Tuesday, 3 March 2015
Chapters of Blackheath / Blackheath
Who are they?
Chapters is a French bistro based in the rather posh South London area of Blackheath, a place I wouldn't usually visit if it weren't for a family get-together.
One of the perks of going to a restaurant midweek is the relatively low number of other people who will be eating out, meaning that there were plenty of tables available on a Tuesday evening.
Chapters is unique in the sense that they are a French-styled bistro based in England and champion the use of their specially imported Spanish Josper charcoal oven for all their meat dishes. The oven itself is simply a small charcoal oven / smoker unit, so nothing particularly special about that, but it does mean that the food itself will have succulent, smokey flavour to it. Well, it would be rude not to see how it affects the burger, right?
Arriving as is usual these days on a wooden board, Chapters' burger is a towering testament to a burger, which did remind me somewhat of the large, towering disappointment that was Burger & Lobster, though there seemed to be plenty of beef, mature cheese and crispy bacon to counterbalance the salad and tomato. Speaking of buildings, the breezeblock-sized chips are a lovely accompaniment and were it not for the size of the burger they may have dwarfed the main attraction. But I digress...
The oven is worth its reputation; the burger, and the bacon as well, come with delightful grill lines and an even more delightful soft aroma of charcoal - it's a taste that is neither over the top but not inconsequential either. Definitely a great device for cooking and providing that smokey barbecue smell for an indoor restaurant and makes for a juicy, well cooked beefburger. Of course, it does help if the burger itself comes with some decent quality meat, which this certainly does, and it goes well with the spartan salad accompaniments.
Moving on to the chips: these are lovely double or possibly even triple cooked versions of the form and plenty of them to boot (though for some reason you could still stand to have a few extra once you're done). While not as crispy as some, the innards are lovely and fluffy.
A lovely burger with a unique smokey flavour. Not worth going specifically down to Blackheath for (particularly if other Chapters Restaurants closer to your location have similar ovens), but this is certainly an option to consider if you find yourself hungry on the heath.
Where can I find them?