Jamie Oliver’s original Fifteen has rebranded itself as British under St John-alumnus chef Jon Rotherham, though its not-for-profit ethos – training disadvantaged apprentices in the culinary arts – remains constant. There’s no longer a restaurant/trattoria divide over the two floors (street level and basement) and the menu is now mainly small plates, with a few mains. What hasn’t changed is the approach: fine ingredients, treated without fuss, to be enjoyed.
On a recent visit, good stuff started with breads (carrying a £4 price tag), served with ‘farmhouse butter’ and ‘chicken butter’, the latter a rustic, meaty melding of chicken fat and chicken morsels into the butter. Spare presentation and a retro feel came with devilled egg and smoked anchovy: lovely brown, salty mayonnaise piped into the halved hard-boiled eggs, joined by halved radishes (leaves and all). A summer salad, with many unusual leaves, had a rather salty dressing, while cuttlefish, courgette and herb vinaigrette was a perfect combination. A faultless main course followed: grilled salmon with baby beets and crème fraîche. Fellow diners were tucking into the hallmark roast chicken for two with gusto. To finish, lemon meringue pie packed a vibrantly lemony punch. Great food.
Our only criticism? It was impossible to enter the disabled toilet without one of our party rising from the table.