It’s the end of a hectic week, and you’re ready to ease yourself into the weekend. Where can you find a venue that prepares decent drinks, serves delicious food, and plays great music? The Chelsea Riverside Brasserie, nestled in Chelsea Harbour, is one such venue you can enjoy live performances by talented jazz musicians every Friday night.
But what’s the relationship between gastronomy and music? According to research by the University of Arkansas, there is a correlation between the taste of food and listening to music. The participants listened to various music genres while they ate. The research findings revealed that certain types of music have a notable effect on our sensory perception. The conclusion, food is more satisfying to the palate while listening to jazz.
Before you start dusting off your Kenny G CDs, there’s nothing like listening to live music. In an ever-increasing virtual world, the inherent lure of ‘on-demand’ services is commonplace. But it’s often the case that live performance is a far richer experience. Watch a musician perform as they interact with the musical instrument. Concentrate on the individual notes played or marvel at their vocal range.
Tonight, Adriana Blu and her band will perform at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel for the first time. Blu, an acclaimed Spanish artist who has performed at various music venues and festivals throughout Spain, is now part of London’s live jazz and Latin music circuit. Adriana’s sensual vocals lend themselves well to singing Latin jazz. She demonstrates her oeuvre when she sings classics such as Chan Chan by the Cuban ensemble Bueno Vista Social Club. Blu puts on a wonderful performance, and the diners show their appreciation.
We begin the evening with a chilled glass of champagne while we study the menu. The restaurant serves European cuisine with a Mediterranean influence. The Jazz Night menu may seem limited; however, the dishes read well as we look forward to dining with a side of smooth Latin rhythms.
The champagne is also going down well. The elegant citrus and orange blossom notes pair with the rhythmic samba and bossa nova notes. The Taittinger Brut Reserve NV champagne complements the sweetness of my Orkney scallop starter. The delicate yet succulent Scottish scallops come dressed in cauliflower puree and wild mushrooms. The presentation is exquisite. My guest has the beetroot and goat’s cheese starter. The deliciously creamy goat’s cheese mousse served with honey-roasted beetroot and candied walnuts with a balsamic glaze is also a hit.
For our main course, we both chose the seared turbot. Other options include a grilled bavette steak and a glazed breast of duck. The turbot served with razor clams and sautéed samphire gets top marks. The dish is transformed after the maître d’ pours the delicious champagne sauce. The turbot is cooked on the bone, which allows its natural flavour to come through. It’s a tasty dish with big flavours.
We order the Black Forest chocolate dome and the lemon meringue pie for desserts. The milk chocolate dome is filled with cherry compote and a punchy dark chocolate mousse filling on a sponge base. The lemon meringue has a buttery shortcrust pastry base with a crumbly texture. The citrus-sweet lemon curd and meringue folds provide a much-needed sugar hit, which completes the beautiful meal.
We drank some Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc from South Africa. The wine has intense tropical fruit flavours with hints of apricot and vanilla, pairing well with the flavourful turbot main dish.
The restaurant provides an intimate setting with a stylish interior, low lighting, and a calming atmosphere. If you’re looking for a great view overlooking the marina, I recommend booking a table by the window. The music volume is set at a level where you can still engage in conversation.
The Chelsea Harbour Hotel will undergo a renovation in Spring 2023. The Chelsea Riverside Brasserie will also form part of the renovation plans, which include creating a new restaurant next to the brasserie and a rooftop bar.
So, does food taste better when listening to jazz? I’d have to return on a different evening and order the same dishes to answer that question. Considering our polished plates after each course, it doesn’t seem much of an arduous task.
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All imagery courtesy of The Chelsea Harbour Hotel.