Mark Bibby Jackson reviews the restaurant at Sloane Place Chelsea investigating both main and Veganuary menus.

January is traditionally a time for people to turn over new leaves. Whether it be Veganuary or Dry January, people kick off the New Year with a resolve that normally fizzles out long before February dawns. The only leaves I turn over tend to be those littered on the floor as I go for my wintry walks, however I am always one for fresh adventures especially those that involve onlooking rather than participating.

Thus, I invited a vegetarian friend, who was also half-way through Dry January to sample the European-Asian themed vegan menu at Sloane Place, created by Executive Chef Bernhard Mayer and Head Chef Maryono, while I opted for the main menu.

Sloane Place and The Sloane Club

The Hideaway at Sloane Place 2 - Copy
The Hideaway at Sloane Place

Sloane Place is a relatively new addition to the Chelsea scene although one steeped in history. The hotel opened in 2017, but its sister property is The Sloane Club, which was opened by Princess Helena, one of Victoria’s daughters in 1922.

Sloane Club was not a traditional club by any means. Far from banning women it was men who were not allowed to pass its doors, as the Service Women’s Club was designed as an affordable place for women in the armed forces to stay while in the capital. The first men were admitted in the 1970s.

The property was acquired by The Queensway Group in 2017. They opened Sloane Place next door as a 27-bed, dog-friendly hotel with the 50-seating restaurant in which we were dining. There is also The Hideaway, a snug basement bar. The former seemed much more inviting than the latter on a cold January evening.

Sloane Place Restaurant

The vegan menu was most tempting. I particularly liked the sound of the grilled Jerusalem artichoke salad with avocado as a starter. But I am a lover of all things crab so could not resist the dressed Devon crab with wasabi mayonnaise, while my guest plumped for the cauliflower and chickpea salad.

The crab was fantastic, and not as crabby as sometimes is the case. The shaved radish gave the dish an excellent texture while the wasabi enlivened the dish. My companion said that the cauliflower was perfect, adding that there was a good choice of food for her.

Manoj Mariappan, head pastry chef

While I drifted from a South African chenin to a pinot noir during my meal, my dry January guest chose the spiced ginger mocktail, made with Seedlip non-alcoholic gin. This had a fantastic kick to it with a garnish sprig of fresh mint and slice of ginger bringing an extra dose of life.

By now our conversation had started to flow, as it does when you catch up with friends post the Christmas hiatus. This was aided by the pleasant bistro style ambience – the restaurant was quite busy for a midweek evening – and efficient yet friendly service.

The mains arrived almost unnoticed. My friend chose the grilled tempeh with green harissa Wakame, glass noodle and vegetable salad, while I opted for the pan-fried stone bass fillet, which was served with Jerusalem artichoke and kale risotto. The fish was cooked to perfection, succulent and well-seasoned.

While I concluded my meal with a substantial and unusual selection of British cheeses, my guest went off piste for the pistachio and olive oil sponge o9n the main menu. Light and not overly sweet, the mascarpone and cranberry were perfectly balanced. It was the perfect way to wrap things up alongside a fresh mint tea.

After an extremely pleasant evening we emerged to the cold winter’s night, somewhat reluctant to leave our snug restaurant.

Sloane Place is a dog-friendly hotel
Sloane Place is a dog-friendly hotel
Sustainability at The Sloane Club and Sloane Place

Both The Sloane Club and Sloane Place are committed to sustainability. All the equipment in their kitchen has been designed to the highest specifications, and is projected to save over 1,200 kWh of energy per day, representing nearly 100 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

The Verdict

Sloane Place is an excellent restaurant in Chelsea within walking distance of Sloane Square and the Royal Court Theatre. With sustainability at its heart, and with an emancipatory past, this is an extremely cosy place to enjoy a meal or catch-up, even outside of January.

Sloane Place Chelsea

For more information on Sloane Place, click here or for The Sloane Club, click here.