Fred Smith at the Admiral Codrington is becoming quite famous for his burgers and a trip there to sample these was long overdue. When Fred did a Burger Monday, it sold out in 5 minutes leading to a unique extended run, Burger Tuesday such is the respect his burgers now command. And with the past week seeing much Twitter excitement around his latest creation, a 'Double Cheese Stack Burger', The Admiral Codrington has been at the front of our minds. So when we found ourselves in Chelsea, hungry, and with a couple of hours to kill, dropping in seemed like the thing to do.
Now, the Admiral Codrington is what we'd call 'a proper boozer' and if it's a pint and a packet of peanuts that you want, that's available right there in the front of the pub. At the back of the bar however is a separate dining room, complete with retractable glass roof where Fred can be seen in the kitchen working hard to keep his many hungry customers satisfied.
The menu is extensive but a step above the usual pub fare. What's more, looking at the choice of steaks, the menu informs that the steaks are 'aged in house' and that they are sourced from O'Shea the butchers, both pointers to the fact that this is a pub/restaurant that really does care about the food quality.
And so to the starters where we sampled three from the menu: Burrata, Datterini Tomatoes, Basil Oil; Chilli Salt Squid, Green Chilli, Coriander; and Loch Duart Salmon Ceviche, Jalapenos, Lime. These were all simply brilliant and seemed to convey just what the food at the Admiral Cod is all about. First, great ingredients: the burrata was absolutely fantastic and the tomatoes packing concentrated flavour. Second therefore, when you have great ingredients in classic combinations, you don't need to do anything too fancy (no foams here then). These dishes, just as they are, really hit the spot and Fred brings the ingredients together in well judged balance so that the flavours really work together to excite. This was a really good start to the meal.
If you want to catch one of Fred's specials, be aware that they are only available on the lunchtime menu and as specials, are of course subject to change. Also worth noting, the lunch menu is served throughout the Codrington but dinner is served in the restaurant only.
Back to the food where things get even better. Hand cut chunky chips with it were great but a side of macaroni cheese was awesome. You could smell the cheese before you even cut into the well crusted top and the addition of smoked bacon into the mac 'n' cheese took it to another level. We've lost count of the places since we started this blog that have served us an oh so bland mac 'n' cheese but Fred's is memorable for all the right reasons.
It's great that Fred has become famous for his burger but the revelation of our visit there was that the Admiral Cod is about much more than just burgers. The burger is great but competes in a crowded field, meanwhile the brilliant Burrata, the Salmon Ceviche and the Mac 'n' Cheese stand out in our minds as equally compelling dishes that elevated our meal at the Cod to a real foodie treat leaving us wanting to try the rest of the menu.
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