The Summer House is a pop-up restaurant near Little Venice. With tables by the canal, it was a great hit last summer. Back then, I went there with a group of friends and it was a lovely evening. It took me a month to arrange as it was so popular!

The Summerhouse
Sitting by the canal at the Summerhouse
This year, the Summerhouse was the top of my list when I came up with this impulsive idea of meeting my friend E on the longest day of the year. I was surprised that I could still book a table with only a day’s notice. Though it did not take me long to understand why. > ” />

The menu this year is identical to last year’s. It is a bit disappointing. Part of the charm of pop-up restaurants to me is the element of surprise. The decoration also looks identical.

We shared ‘Best Ever’ pop-corn shrimps with sweet chilli sauce as a starter (photo below). It was nice that they served the portion in 2 containers as they knew we were sharing.

'Best Ever' pop-corn shrimps with sweet chilli sauce at the Summerhouse
The only thing that was in common between the pop-corn and shrimps was that the latter was cut into small pieces which were about the same size as the former. They were deep-fried but not well seasoned. I was not impressed by the sweet chilli sauce as it tasted like it was straight from a bottle bought in a Chinese supermarket.

Hardly ‘Best-ever’!

I am normally a great fish cake fan though my friend warned me that she had very dry fish cakes at the Summerhouse before. I decided to have the Summerhouse Fish Pie instead (photo below). It had a lovely crispy potato top but there was a lot of mash potato and not enough seafood or sauce underneath. Worse of all, it was salty. It left me feeling thirsty the whole night.

Summerhouse Fish Pie
Moules Marinière
Luckily, I only had half of it as we decided to share the main course. The other main course I tried was Moules Marinière with chips and aioli (photo above). To our disappointment, there were only a few large mussels on the top. Most of the mussel meat was only about the size of a 5p coin. It was nearly a waste of effort to eat! I hate going to Belgos as I found their tiny mussels were a rip-off. But I think I have just found a match!

Lemon tart with fresh raspberries at the Summerhouse
For dessert, we had a lemon tart with fresh raspberries (photo above). There were two spare raspberries on a plate to justify what it said on the menu. It was an ok tart, nothing spectacular.

What a wasted opportunity!

It is a fantastic space with lots of daylight. It is rare in Central London to be able to eat by the canal. It could have been such a wonderful place for the summer! Yet, they serve average food and charge too much for its quality.

Ceiling for the Summerhouse
Diners are not stupid. If it is not worth it, they will not go back. I now understand why it was so easy for me to get a table. Apparently, they now open a branch in Chelsea and there is a 25% discount on the food. But the Summerhouse is not a place I recommend for food. I was lucky to have great company both times I went and I enjoyed the evening very much, for a different reason.

The Summer House
Dinner for 2 with a glass of wine/rosé: £62, incl. service charge
Address: Opposite to 60 Blomfield Road, London W9 2PA
Tel: 0207 286 6752

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