Food Blog | Cooking Blog
Whilst the New York turned Italian restaurant is spread across the basement, ground floor, outside patio and first floor mezzanine, there is still more to Goat than meets the eye; your typical Fulham Road passer by is unaware that Goat boasts an expansive cocktail bar across two levels of the first floor and an exclusive speak easy tucked away behind a secret door. Enjoy a delicious and surprisingly affordable dinner in one of the three dining areas, and then move upstairs to one of the cosy banquettes or private alcoves of the bar, or reserve one of the larger tables at the bar if you are part of a big group. If you want something more intimate and unusual, reserve places at the Chelsea Prayer Room, the Goat's own private speak easy bar. To me, this is what really sets the venue apart from other Chelsea watering holes. It is more reminiscent of a Lower Manhattan prohibition speak easy institution, requiring a constantly changing secret passcode to unlock the hidden black door that blends into the background of the first floor wall behind a rack of coats. Goat offers the unique opportunity to tie dining and drinking into the early hours of the morning into one, removing the need for traipsing across London for different parts of your evening.
As we arrived, we were sat at one of the intimate oak tables in the middle of the ground floor restaurant. The exposed pipes and vents of the high ceiling and the metal and wooden chairs give the room a classic New York ambience, reminding me of the decor that marks trendy Lower Manhattan, West Village and Brooklyn hotspots. It is the sort of atmosphere that has become increasingly popular in East London: side sauces served in rustic jars, steel girder fencing and iron railings lining the stairs, panelled walls and pretty chandeliers. The menu is similarly eclectic, offering a mixture of Italian dishes and modern English and American favourites (roasts, burgers and so on). For my starter, I ordered tuna tartare, avocado and wasabi mousse, which was absolutely delicious. The flesh of the tuna was fresh and flavoursome, bound by a simple soy and citrus dressing that married beautifully with the silky avocado wasabbi mouse. I particularly liked the beetroot crispy garnishing, which gave a stream of colour as well as a salty and crispy antidote to the otherwise clean and typically neutral taste of the tuna.
Also opting for something raw, my date, the budding art dealer, went for beef carpaccio served with truffle, rocket and pecorino. The beef was beautifully seared, sliced so thinly that each piece was almost translucent. The rocket, pecorino and freshly ground black pepper went perfectly with the beef, but what really stood out was the black truffle. The distinct flavour of the truffle really came through with the other flavours, and surprisingly, did not overpower the rich and irony taste of the fillet. Food envy...
For out mains, the budding art dealer stuck to her Italian theme, choosing a pizza with San Daniele ham, burrata, sun blushed tomato and bail pesto. The pizza was delicious, stretched across a thin base and loaded with high quality ingredients and refined flavours. Not likely to satisfy those of you who view pizza as an indulgence that should be greasy, oily and shrouded in cheap and stringy cheese, but more like a fresh salad on a plate of dough. The tomatoes were especially sweet and the burrata, soft, creamy and a real treat that makes one wonder why normal buffalo mozzarella is even an option. Yum yum yum. I went for something completely different, the roast turkey main that was making its debut on the dinner menu. The roast turkey was served with roasted vegetables and a chestnut and cranberry stuffing, delicious and much lighter than might be expected from the all time classic Christmas staple. The turkey breasts were not thinly sliced, but served like chicken fillets, only more moist and succulent in texture. I grazed on the budding art dealers charred broccoli with garlic, chilli and toasted almond flakes too, mhmmm.1
As if it wasn't enough, the budding art dealer and I decided to share a portion of polenta fries with truffled mayonnaise. These were absolutely fantastic, really a must for anyone heading to Goat in the near future. They look like french fries but they are so much more, crispy and golden on the outside and incredibly lightweight and fluffy on the inside. The truffled mayo was so good I actually contemplated asking if they sold it to take home in jars. If you like the taste of black truffle, this is your place.