A review of Blummyz, Hollywood Road, SW10
Blummyz is certainly a restaurant that has nothing in common with Brinkley’s, its better-known neighbour and home to ageing lotharios and single women of a certain age. The only similarity, apart from their being on the same street, is that neither fall into the grey area when it comes to the opinions people have about them.
For me, the Hollywood Road is best remembered for my encounters with a gentleman named Richard Bond. Always seen in the same blazer and supposedly resident in a green Jeep Cherokee stuffed to the rafters with old newspapers, here was a character who, like the restaurants I describe, was polarising in the minds of those he introduced himself to.
On our first meeting Mr Bond, who was a successful racing driver in the 1960s and 70s, simply asked: “Eton or Harrow?” When I replied: “Neither,” he launched into a diatribe about the relative merits of half of the public schools of England. In these comments he came across as an utter bore but on the occasions he regaled all concerned with such stories as how he drove a Ford GT40 in the World Sportscar Championship Series, he came across as a far more interesting man. Better known as “Bondino” or “Bondini,” Bond passed away in July 2011 but I am sure that he would have approved of the Bugatti inspired logo that graces 6 Hollywood Road, now known as Blummyz.
Blummyz is the brainchild of Elliott “Blummy” Blum, a young Swiss born entrepreneur, and his friend Richard Renaud, who comes to the restaurant as general manager after having worked at La Place in Toulon and Las Bastide du Cours in Aix en Provence. The duo met in their youth and in teaming up have created a restaurant that is far more elegant than most of its somewhat clapped out neighbours.
Blum has invested heavily in creating a stylish high-end European feel in his restaurant. The focus is an open kitchen with a wood fired oven and the décor features velvets and starched linens. It quite a world apart from the artisan look of Friends, owned by Chelsea footballer Roberto Di Matteo, which formerly occupied the site. A bar area, complete with a black granite bar, seats 20 whilst the restaurant itself has space for a further 40 diners.
Blummyz originally launched in February 2012 with Stefano Stecca, who advised Arkady Novikov prior to the opening of the £8 million Novikov in Mayfair, as chef. Mr Stecca departed to work for Frankie Dettori and Pete Burrell’s at their Sydney Street restaurant, Sette, after having described Blummyz’s menu as “too expensive” in an interview for BigHospitality magazine.
Now, with a new chef named Dionisio Randazzo, Blummyz has had a slight change in direction and officially launched on the 12th April 2012 with an event organised by the ever popular PRs Meritaten Mance and Brave Benson. Such characters as E4’s Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and Oliver Proudlock, son of Foxtrot Oscar co-founder Michael Proudlock, were in attendance.
The majority of the other guests at the party were youngsters in tight fitting Dolce & Gabanna jeans and ladies replete with Hermès Birkin bags that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the restaurant formerly known as Cipriani. If the gathering were reflective of the restaurant’s typical clientele, this is a place that will appeal primarily to the likes of Tamara Ecclestone and Holly Valance rather than to Chelsea’s old-school aristocratic set.
On my first visit in March, I was joined by a trader best known to my friends as “The Spy.” My companion, most suitably given the name of the restaurant’s owner, is a specialist in a phenomenon known as the Elliott Wave Principle and was pleased to be able to continue monitor the markets from his smartphone throughout our lunch thanks to Blummyz having Wi-Fi. We opted to allow the charming and personable staff to bring us a selection of signature dishes from a menu where starters were priced between £10 and £19 and mains were mainly between £21 and £28.
The bread was freshly baked and the flat bread was especially good. A tapas style dish of baby meatballs (£5) featured a delicious tomato sauce but the meat was perhaps a little tough. Mussels and clams served with the same sauce and broccoli, however, were truly excellent.
For mains, the traditionally served sea bass (£22) was of the finest of quality whilst a beef fillet with a green peppercorn sauce (£26) was tender and perfectly cooked. The Spy and I were truly impressed with both dishes but somehow managed to leave space to share a final course in the form of a well executed chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream (£8). All of this was washed down with first a well chilled Chablis (£9.50 a glass) and then a Chianti Classico (£10 a glass). We left feeling heartily satisfied.
On my return for the launch event, I was introduced to a new menu that takes onboard much of what Blum, Randazzo and Renaud had learnt during their “soft launch.” It includes a “small eats” section (all at £5) featuring such dishes as deep-fried prawns, a raw artichoke salad with Pecorino cheese and pear and zucchini fritti. Other new additions include superb pizzas priced very reasonably between £9 and £15 and burgers at £9 to £10 each.
Blummyz is a restaurant that has great potential and one that most definitely deserves to make waves. For perfectly executed French-Italian and Mediterranean inspired cuisine in a sophisticated setting, be sure to make a beeline for Blummyz. Ladies: Be sure, though, not to forget to arrive without your Birkin.
Blummyz, 6 Hollywood Road, London, SW10 9HY. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7351 1588. Website: http://www.blummyz.com
Follow Blummyz on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/BlummyzLondon