Does Ochré Live Up To Its Promise?

We check out Chiswick's newest restaurant / bar

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Ochré Kitchen & Bar 301 - 303 Chiswick High Road Chiswick W4 4HH

Open Monday to Saturday 11am to 11pm, Sunday 6pm to 10pm


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Returning from holiday, I was surprised to discover that no one had taken the opportunity to be the first on the forum with a review of Chiswick’s newest restaurant / bar, so made a bee line for Ochré to see if it lived up to the owner's preview.

After promising to be a new “restaurant and bar concept focusing on fresh, clean ingredients delivered in an ambiance like no other” we were amazed to find Ochré predominantly empty when we arrived at 8.30pm.

Whilst the exterior appears to be a work in progress, the interior's dark wood clad and softly lit contemporary decor with an open kitchen and bar area creates a welcoming, relaxed ambience and is a great success.

As to the much discussed menu, it certainly posed problems in choosing due not so much to the amount of choice rather than the fact that we would have been happy to have tried any one of the nine dishes on offer.

We settled on lamb & sesame seed skewers with hummus (£6.00) and Mussels Provencale (£6.00). We couldn’t fault the lamb at all but were surprised to discover that Ochre’s version of ‘Mussels Provencale’ is made without a single tomato; indeed their version is suspiciously identical to Moules Mariniere. That said the mariniere version is a favourite of my husband’s who deemed the sauce good even if it wasn’t what he was expecting.

For mains we chose Char-grilled Sirloin served with roasted vine tomatoes, spinach, chips and béarnaise sauce (£14.95) and Pan Fried Sea Bass served with crushed new potatoes, piperada and tomato salsa (£14.95). Unfortunately both proved a disappointment. The sea bass, whilst clearly being fresh, had a soggy skin rather than the wonderful sweet crispy delight it should be. The tomato salsa was good but the piperada (mixed sweet peppers) were too oily for my taste.

The steak was a let down due to its blandness (and the fact that it caused a major disagreement between us because apparently I should have told my husband not to have the steak after enjoying ones of such fantastic quality only days before in France. Ostensibly, if I was a good wife, I would have insisted on him opting for the tasty looking burger he saw being served to a fellow diner which incidentally comes in two sizes £7.95 / £10.95 topped with tomato relish, caramelised onions, double mild English cheddar and served with chips and green salad.)

We decided to make up over a chocolate mousse with raspberry puree (£5.00) but as this arrived frozen so solid we couldn’t get our spoons into it for at least five minutes, it gave me time to put him straight on the concept of “you pay your money and take your choice” and then you take full responsibility for it. When we did get around to eating it, we discovered Ochre’s version of chocolate mousse is remarkably like chocolate ice cream, albeit a very tasty chocolate ice cream.

The wine list is set out by country and we chose a nice Chilean Sauvignon Blanc (£17.85) to go with our starters and my fish and a large glass of Cote de Rhone (£6.85) to accompany the contentious steak bringing the final bill to £76.60.

To surmise, décor and ambiance warm and welcoming, service haphazard but well meaning, menu shows great potential but didn’t quite deliver. Ochré is an independent, family run business and whilst our experience wasn’t without issues, it is still early days. That said if we were to go back, we would stick to the middle eastern style dishes as these are clearly what Ochré does best.

Emma Brophy


May 22, 2008