Despite Chapters relaxed atmosphere, the service was constantly to Michelin star standard; we did not want for anything all evening.
Takeaway picnic menu - Blackheath brasserie Chapters is launching a special takeaway picnic menu for two from June 1..... Time to pick up your hamper from the restaurant, just a stone’s throw from Blackheath Common for that perfect summer picnic.
With a super location overlooking the heath, Chapters is an all-round hot ticket. Conjured from quality ingredients, well-presented, clean-flavoured dishes. An accomplished, neighbourhood-restaurant act..
AA Restaurant Guide 2015
Delivering upbeat, user-friendly food right through the day. Chapters also knows how to put on the style. The menu proves its point with big flavours and keen prices.
Good Food Guide 2015
Friendly, delicious, gorgeous. The menu is so well thought out there is something to keep everyone happy.
Have you noticed? Chapters has a nonchalant new swagger which it wears with consummate ease. It’s no wonder, among gastro-savvy pundits, it’s being talked about as The Wolseley of the South-East for its winning brasserie luxe combination of flexible, affordable all-day menu. Like the Wolseley (the famous West End Grand Café constantly frequented by the A-list film and media crowd), it offers both gourmet and favourite comfort dishes with a twist, has a glamorous yet laid-back ambience and a frisson of people-watching possibilities.
Welcoming, stylish with the unmistakable buzz of a burgeoning hotspot, Chapters is the brainchild of the same dream team who created the iconic Chapter Two. The meticulous attention to detail and excellent service remain matched by a shift to a more informal approach to dining and more wallet-friendly pricing to match its all day ethos. Significantly it is the only restaurant in Blackheath to rate such distinction and there are fewer than twenty throughout London – high praise indeed for Chapter’s triple helping of cooking, atmosphere and pricing.
Chapters is a buzzy, bright place to visit for a coffee and catch-up with friends at the pavement tables, a hearty brunch or a dinner with the parents. Here you’ll find classy cooking in a casual setting.
Time Out 2012
Chapters prime attraction is the splendid view over the heath. The best dishes are cooked in the josper: a charcoal grill-cum-oven. The result is fabulous steaks & mackerel fillets packed full of smokey flavour. Breakfast is served throughout the week, brunch at weekends, and kids are well-catered for. The varied wine list includes plenty by the glass and some interesting stickies.
Square Meal 2012
A linchpin of the area including a standout breakfast
Harden’s London Restaurant Guide 2012
The room is awash with natural light and accented with exposed brickwork, and there is a casual neighbourhood vibe; good natured staff make such a difference.
The Good Food Guide 2011
Chapters is in tune with the casual vibe of trendy Blackheath village, offering breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner in an easy-going brasserie-style ambience. It is an unbuttoned space with bare brickwork, wooden floors and toffee coloured banquette seating. You might start the day with eggs Benedict or go for a more creative modern idea from the crowd-pleasing all-day menu.
AA Restaurant Guide 2011
Our reviews and comments
An up-to-the-minute eatery with lots of nice touches including an impressive zinc-topped bar, exposed brickwork, lots of mirrors and those modern dangly-pendulum lights. The effect is American diner meets hip Continental cafe and the all-day menu reflects this: choose from eggs Benedict or a plate of scones or go the whole hog and tuck into slow roast belly of Packington pork with choucroute and spiced lentils. And the great thing is, everything is cooked beautifully.
A more modern bistro feel that offers food that’s always good, and sometimes excellent
Hardens Guide 2010
The younger sibling of Chapter One is these days an up-to-date all-day dining venue. In Blackheath village (South East London’s answer to Hampstead), a short distance from the perimeter of the heath itself, it offers breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner from 8am - eggs Benedict to Angus beef fillet cooked over charcoal embers in the Josper oven. The ambience is agreeably laid-back, the staff well-versed and chatty, and the décor in keeping, with exposed brickwork, undressed tables and outdoor dining too. Start with a good, thick slab of ham hock, foie gras and celeriac terrine with plum chutney & toasted sourdough and end with warm treacle tart with Cornish clotted cream.
AA Restaurant Guide 2010
It had been, as ever, a great value meal, served by knowledgeable waiters with enthusiasm. Tobin is clearly a chef driven to extract maximum flavour from great produce. Even though I now live in a less idyllic part of London than SE3, I will endeavour to make the return trip much more often.
Douglas Blyde, Intoxicating Press
The décor is understated, stylish and classy. The atmosphere relaxed and comfortable, the service - from the first minute - excellent. The baked cheesecake with blackcurrant sorbet was the best I have ever tasted.
Chapters has hit the right note with this relaxed yet spohisticated setting.
The Guide Magazine
Our reviews and comments
A Brasserie with star quality... As a publisher of magazines in Mayfair, Chelsea, Belgravia and Marylebone, journalist Erik Brown knows some of London’s leading chefs and has entertained in the finest restaurants in the West End. Now he finds he’s blown away by a brasserie in Blackheath.
It’s noon on one of the warmest days of the year and already a group of young women, perhaps a dozen of them, are sipping champagne and gossiping around a long table in the Blackheath restaurant Chapters.
"They’re starting early,” I whisper to manager Jo Shaw. She smiles and says, "They’re just finishing actually. They were here for breakfast.”
That’s just one of the things that makes Chapters special. Customers start turning up at 8am, keen to bag one of the outside tables facing what Head Chef Alex Tyndall calls "the big, green beach outside”.
By that time, Alex and his team of eight chefs and two kitchen porters have already been at work for an hour. If they’re lucky they will have finished before midnight the day before – if not, they’ll have left and started work on the same day, grabbing just a few hours sleep along the way.
For the kitchen brigade of eight chefs and two kitchen porters, delivering the special Chapters experience requires enthusiasm, dedication, creativity and blisteringly hard work.
This isn’t one of those chain restaurants in which a handful of kitchen staff assemble nice-looking meals from pre-packaged ingredients on a kind of kitchen production line.
The people in Chapters’ kitchen are professional chefs, cooking to order, changing the specials daily – sometimes twice a day – and continually developing the food. Suppliers of fish, meat and veg are all local, and the menu follows the seasons.
Standards are incredibly high. Alex trained at Chapter One in Locksbottom, Farnborough, with the affable Michelin-starred chef Andy McLeish – and still works with Andy on the development and evolution of dishes, especially on the fine-dining elements that creep into the brasserie regularly.
And so, while it is possible to get upmarket fish and chips and sausages and mash at Chapters, you can also order Josper-grilled boneless quail with choucroute, cashew nuts, carrot and vanilla purée as a starter (£6.95), and be forgiven for imagining that you were dining at one of Mayfair’s top restaurants.
The range of food on offer is startling; it’s easy to see why eight chefs are needed in the kitchen.
The specials on the day I dropped by included Josper-grilled new season rump of lamb with pearl barley risotto and oyster mushrooms in a samphire and red wine sauce (£17.25). There was a full brasserie menu, a kids’ breakfast menu (featuring milkshakes and smoothies), a kids’ lunch and dinner menu (featuring kids’ cocktails like Guava Collins), an adult breakfast menu, an afternoon menu (from 3-6pm), a set menu promotion with a two-course lunch for £12.95, and a special offer lunch of Josper-grilled onglet steak and trimmings and a bottle of wine for two people at just £29.95. I’ve rarely seen a restaurant trying harder to please its customers.
And so my guest and I settled into our leather banquettes under the Parisienne-style globe lights and settled down to our meal.
Pan-fried scallops with celeriac and apple purée and a chorizo jam (£9.95) were as good as I’d had anywhere in the West End, and better than I’ve had at any restaurant out of the centre. Chorizo jam? Whoever thought of that should get a medal; it was amazing.
Grilled fillet of mackerel, beetroot carpaccio, pickled fennel and walnut dressing (£6.50) was delicious. Mackerel is one of my favourite fish, but it needs to be just-out-of-the-sea fresh and cooked with care. This was perfect.
My guest had a warm salad of lamb shoulder, edamame beans, watercress, mint and pine nuts as a main (£9.95), and crooned ever so slightly over the mint and lamb combination.
I had a bloke’s dish of premium USDA corn-fed rib-eye steak from Greater Omaha (£25.25) with – I’m afraid – triple-cooked chips. The steak was one of the best I’ve ever had, so different in flavour from grass-fed meat, and so tasty that I barely used the peppercorn sauce I ordered with it. The chips were huge, crisp and light. Even so, there were some left over.
Eton mess with strawberry sorbet, meringue and cream (£7.25), and mango parfait with almond tuile and kalamansi sorbet (£6.50) followed – both quite splendid.
My guest didn’t drink wine, and I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Fault Line 2012 from Marlborough, New Zealand (£8.40) – absolutely perfect with the scallops.
Just after the starter, Alex had slipped in an 'amuse-bouche': Josper-grilled, honey-glazed quail with a mangetout salad, carrot purée, honeyed pecans and julienne strips of orange peel. It was startlingly good: Michelin-quality cooking in a local brasserie.
Watching one of the waiters kiss the hands of two women on departure, we began to understand why this charming, iconic, Blackheath restaurant can pull in 400 diners on a Saturday, and between 300 and 350 on a Sunday.
There is, quite simply, nothing quite like it in the area. And if Alex Tyndall doesn’t one day pick up a major award – even a star – then I’ll eat every one of the eight menus I left Chapters with after the meal.
Given the quality of the food in this restaurant, they’re probably quite tasty.