Is it just me or is everyone seemingly having the time of their lives in Bali at the moment? My feed is full of backpackers and sunseekers, snapping away at lush landscapes, oceanfront cafes and stunning coastal vistas. But, if you’re like me and sitting tight in London, then here’s an exotic retreat where the food and interiors could easily be mistaken for far-flung adventures. Let me introduce to you, Ollie’s House in Chelsea.
Having opened in April last year, independently owned Ollie’s House made serious waves in the local neighbourhood and beyond. You could actually spend an entire day there, as this all-day kitchen boasts a deli, bakery and cocktail bar, alongside a very popular bottomless brunch. It’s on the corner of Hollywood Road, just a short stroll from Stamford Bridge, nestled beside grand, Georgian houses and quaint little mews this part of town is known for. The outside is very inviting: twinkling fairy lights draped all over, plus the amazing floor-to-ceiling windows can be folded back to reveal a lovely terrace in the summer.
As you wander in, it gets even more beautiful. Think of it as an upmarket beach club, where jungle-like plants, wicker furniture, patterned tiles and candlelit marble-topped tables come together to create a magical escape. Partnered with the playful wooden swing, huge rustic mirrors and ceiling fans (although not used today, it was a bit chilly), this space channels South East Asian vibes. It’s cosy, but still very chic. Did we mention it’s pup-friendly too? Indeed there was an adorable canine sat next to us, lapping up treats in a bed made especially for him.
After staring at the pooch for potentially too long, we sat back with a drink in hand. The house white wine of La Picoutine Cuvée Especial (£4.90 – a price unheard of in London) was a great way to kick things off: vibrant and incredibly tasty. Sober sippers and teetotallers, bag yourself a Lost In The Forest cocktail (£9.90). A best-seller and fave amongst the friendly waiting team, it was a bittersweet twist on the classic spritz. Aromatic and punchy, with hints of a G&T, it was unusual but went down a treat.
When you’re on holiday, chances are you speak about the food as much as the sights. Or is that just me? Either way, you’ll be pleased to hear that Ollie’s House absolutely slays when it comes to dazzling Pan-Asian plates. We started with the Bao Wow Wow (£6.90), crammed full of juicy teriyaki mushrooms, topped with pickled cabbage, crispy onion and coriander. The smacked cucumbers were crazy hot but this was offset by the smooth chilli mayo. As for the pillowy bao, it was warm and soft, so good that I opted for another one as dessert (more on that later…). My partner’s popcorn shrimp tacos toastie (£8.90), showcasing Ollie’s flair for fusion dishes, was a gorgeous battered golden mouthful that packed in a hella amount of flavour. A take on the classic sandwich, it really excelled due to the crunchy yet moist combination.
Group meals or sharing is encouraged here and after being given extra plates to steal some of your date’s grub, we tucked into our next course: the slow-cooked beef brisket Chinese pancakes (£14.90). Marinated in five spice, this DIY dish brought together lettuce, chilli jam, pickled carrot, avocado and bejewelled with pomegranate. To top off this colourful showstopper? The crispy duck spring roll was a triumph. My main of authentic Shanghai soy noodles (£11.50) was a huge dollop of nostalgia, reminding me of lazy days when travelling. Let’s just say they don’t scrimp on portion sizes and you won’t leave hungry, think massive bok choi, creamy honey cashews and chunks of red pepper. Sometimes, these kinda dishes can be greasy but this wasn’t at all, in fact, I slurped up every last fiery, sticky, dripping bite. If you know me, you know I can’t leave anywhere if cheese is on the menu, so we made a beeline straight for the halloumi fries (£6.90), but these ain't no ordinary chips. We mopped up every last puddle of the katsu sauce with the deliciously squeaky sesame-sprinkled slices.
As mentioned earlier, I was bao-wled over by the buns so my dessert of Ollie’s doughnut bao (£7.50) was spot on. Just imagine a fried roll that was light as a cloud, dusted in cinnamon and finished with vanilla ice cream (it’s vegan, don’t cha know), plus drizzled in melted chocolate. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. My dinner date opted for the brownie (£7.50), a gooey finale to our evening. Served with scoops of ice cream and not one, but two types of chocolate, trust us when we say you need to order this too.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Ollie’s House, we salute you. From the amazing staff, affordable prices, cool decor and quirky lip-smacking fare, this neighbourhood joint will stuff you proper. Fun fact: it's so Instagrammable and pretty that the Made In Chelsea lot have filmed there. Yes, there was a little wait in between dishes but when the food is so fresh and the surrounds are this nice? It didn’t matter to us. Next time, we’re eyeing up the piled-high burgers, washed down with giant cocktail jewels (ours is a marg, in case you’re wondering).
💰 The damage: £81.80, excluding service.
📍 The location: 236 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 9NB.
👌 Perfect for: Relaxed brunches with your four-legged friend.
⭐ Need to know: There are super cute cabanas towards the back, bag one of those if you can.