Posts for the 'West London' Category


Kitchen W8

Note: Kitchen W8 gained a Michelin star in 2011.

Salted cod fish balls

Salted cod fish balls

Kitchen W8, which opened about three weeks ago, is co-owned by none other than Philip Howard of the two star Michelined restaurant The Square, and Rebecca Mascarenhas of Sonny’s (which I also coincidentally visited recently). Wow. Philip Howard is some star backing. But Rebecca is no new comer to the restaurant dining scene either. She owns not only Sonny’s in Barnes, but Sonny’s in Nottingham and The Phoenix in Putney as well. With Kitchen W8 she has her fifth restaurant opening for it is located on the site of one of her previous restaurants, the appropriately named 11 Abingdon Road (the address of the restaurant), which closed in July this year and which subsequently made way for this new joint venture.

The premise for Kitchen W8 is simple – a neighbourhood restaurant that serves good “modern English style food with a French soul” at decent prices. The décor feels too glamorous to be a simple ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant, but then this is Kensington after all. It’s very stylish and warm – the walls are of a grey colour and the floor of a walnut wood. The lighting is also cleverly done to great effect – the restaurant is nicely dimmed, but there are individual spotlights illuminating each table for better visibility.

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Lunch at River Café

Red mullet roasted with olives, capers, marjoram & lemon

Red mullet roasted with olives, capers, marjoram & lemon

Up until a few days ago, I had never been to the River Café. I have lived in London for eight years, and while I have always wanted to go, I have also simultaneously not wanted to go either, a dichotomy I equated to being engulfed in a flirtatious but non-committal affair. The part of me that wanted to go, wanted to do so because I wanted to find out what all the fuss over the River Café is about. The fuss being that it has a Michelin-star; that much has been made in the British press about how influential Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, the founders of the River Café, have been in the British restaurant scene during the last 20 years; that these two ladies are responsible for churning out the likes of celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, etc. As for the part of me that didn’t want to go, well that was because I couldn’t rationalise how such seemingly simple Italian food could warrant the expense of mains that come close to £30, no matter how fresh and seasonal the produce is.

But their current lunch special of £24 for three courses (available until 9 April 2009) was simply a pickup line too good to pass up. And so, I set aside all doubts and uncertainties and finally took the plunge, to make my way to the River Café. No more sitting on the fence – it was decision time to see whether my mild infatuation would turn into a full blown love affair.

(Continue reading her story…)


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