Food review: 16" West Brasserie, Greenwich
16" West Brasserie
IN A NUTSHELL
The newest addition to Greenwich's eating offer is in a prime location, and the food's not bad either.
Navigating your way to Greenwich's newest restaurant is a doddle - as long as you get the name right.
Nestled in a berth in the sleek new Sammy Ofer wing of the National Maritime Museum, 16" West gets its name from the latitude on which it stands in relation to the Greenwich Meridian. Those hanging commas stand for seconds - as you'd find on a map or chart - rather than inches, reflecting the nautical heritage of the area.
Given its moniker 16" West is remarkably free of seafaring paraphernalia - no random bits of rigging hanging from the ceiling or pirate-themed menus. But with pleasant views across Greenwich Park this is a place to grab a window seat to admire the scenery.
Happily, the menu lacks staples from older seafaring days, such as hardtack and salted fish, instead offering a wide range of - head chef Julian Jenkins claims - ingredients sourced locally where possible.
The starters arrived on modish wooden boards, appealling to the inner-trencherman but not always the best choice when it comes to tackling the components of a dish.
A case in point was with the Crispy Capricorn goats' cheese, chicory and walnut salad (£6.95), where the nuts made every effort to jump ship rather than end up on a mouthbound fork.
The charcuterie plate (£9), featuring chorizo, pork loin, salsichon, serrano ham and gherkins, was a good porky plate if a little over-priced.
Our vegetarian photographer declared her main of sweet pea and herb risotto (£11.50) a winner; full of delicate, fresh flavours and not heavy, which can often be the case with this deceptively simple rice dish.
A lamb burger (£11.95) - delivered pinker than requested - was very good, snugly ensonced in a soft, floury bun. Good finger food, but make sure you wash your greasy hands before heading out for a post-prandial perusal the Museum's treasures, otherwise you might be clapped in irons.
The stars of the show were the fabulous twice-cooked chips. You'll never settle for those flavourless oven efforts again.
The dessert list (all £5) is short and sweet. The lemon meringue tart was the better of the two we tried. There's also an interesting selection of rare(ish) British cheeses, including Rosary Ash and LincolnshirePoacher. Worth checking out.
There's a decent wine list (from £3 per glass) and the friendly and attentive waiting staff will happily make recommendations to match the food. It's also good to see the local Meantime beers prominently offered.
While the ambience was pleasant, one jarring note was the regular announcements of what was happening in the museum. It was intrusive, and reminiscent of the being on a cross-channel ferry. Half a mark deducted for that.
Its location means 16" West is likely to navigate the choppy waters familiar to all new restaurants without too much trouble. It deserves to, and you won't need a chart and compass to find it.
16" West Brasserie
National Maritime Museum
Greenwich, SE10 9NF
T: 020 8312 8516