When a team works tirelessly. When we come into work and pour everything into our restaurant, something we imagined and then created, it is nerve wracking waiting to see what people might think of your creation and what you want to share with your guests. No knowing that guest will then write about what they taste, what they see and what they think of us as people is a whole new level. We were biting our nails, crossing our fingers and hoping what we are was well received. Tom Parker Bowles was the first through the door to tell everyone exactly what he thought about us, our creation and we couldn’t be more flattered and ecstatic.
Here’s the full review, courtesy of The Mail On Sunday HERE
“Faber, a new West London fish restaurant, does the seemingly impossible and makes a less than salubrious stretch of the Hammersmith Road seem positively Mediterranean. .”
OK, so the view is more drab concrete crawl than glitteringly limpid seas. And the only real warmth is found in the service, which has to be some of the finest in town. Sweet, opinionated (in the right way) and suffused with real charm. But on this particular Thursday afternoon, the open, airy room is drenched in sunlight, with straw chairs and artfully pale walls adding a carefree, raffish feel.
It’s packed too, already seasoned with a merry hum and the soothing clatter of knife and fork – no mean feat in these straitened times, perhaps thanks to an eminently reasonable daily ‘workers lunch’ special, from £20. Sustainability is all-important here, and they use only British fish, mainly sourced from day boats around the coast. But the success of a fish restaurant depends upon both the freshness of the fish and the skill with which it is cooked.
Cold starters are spot-on. A couple of Maldon oysters, cool and gently saline, wear a dressing of chilli and sesame that flatters rather than overwhelms. Trout tartare is clean and fresh, and properly seasoned, too. Extra marks for using Chalkstream trout, a farmed product of exceptional quality. Cod-cheek skewers are an inspired dish, great chunks of succulent jowl, beautifully cooked over coals and served with a swaggeringly sharp tartare sauce.
A daily specials board (including whole fish), scrawled in chalk, sits in the middle of the room. We order langoustines, drenched in a buttery, mild XO sauce. The cooking is precise, meaning the flesh still has bite rather than descending into claggy cotton wool, as is so often the case. Again, the dressing is subtle, there to bring out the inherent sweetness of these glorious crustacea. The only bum note is a whole John Dory, spankingly fresh, but overcooked. Not disastrously so, but when the standards are set this high, even the tiniest deviation stands out.
Hammersmith is blessed with a multitude of fine ethnic restaurants. And Faber joins Sam’s Riverside and The River Cafe as a deeply civilised place to while away an afternoon. A very welcome addition. Albeit without that view.
By TOM PARKER BOWLES
PUBLISHED: 12:01, 30 December 2023 | UPDATED: 12:06, 30 December 2023
The Mail On Sunday