Kitchen W8 is another restaurant that was so close to our previous flat, we ended up never visiting but as soon as we moved away, a friend suggested it for dinner and we jumped right on it!
Kitchen W8 has a Michelin star but is more affordable than other restaurants with the same pedigree. Most starters ranged from £9-13 and mains were £20-30.
The space is primarily white and the décor is plain. So is service. No real enthusiasm from our servers, but the food was good.
What we ate:
Tasty tapioca cracker with a delicious dip (the waiter didn’t explain but it tasted like squash and had some crispy bits, likely pumpkin seeds).
Thinly Sliced Smoked Eel with Grilled Mackerel, Golden Beetroots and Sweet Mustard: I don’t love mackerel, but I had seen a picture of this dish and found it too compelling to ignore. I have also been more open about the very fishy mackerel since the delicious preparation I tried at Clove Club London. The eel was paper thin and translucent, and added a smokiness to the dish. The mackerel was not overly fishy but remains at the bottom of my preferred fish list. The mustard added a certain creaminess and the beets were great for texture and colour.
Salad of Butterhead Lettuce with Mustard Dressing, Shallots and Chervil: a very simple and massive fresh and buttery lettuce salad nicely tossed with a light mustard dressing and topped with nicely crispy shallots.
Seaweed-Poached Cod with Cauliflower, Cornish Squid, Sea Greens and Shrimp Beignet: this was the best dish of the evening. Gorgeous tall piece of fresh cod in a velvety rich buttery sauce with just one squid for décor and a fantastic shrimp croquette, (that they call beignet), that came jumping from the fryer into my plate.
Haunch of Venison with Smoked Celeriac, Mousserons and Bulgur Wheat: this was the weakest dish. Stewart ordered it so that I could have my fill of celeriac, but the venison was almost too raw and the celeriac was buried in the other flavours. I would skip this next time.
Port Roasted Black Figs with Hazelnut Cream, Caramelised Wafers, Muscovado and Nettle: our friend is allergic to almonds and stone fruit and this was one of the few desserts he could try. The figs had a lovely port taste and paired brilliantly with the hazelnut cream and the wafers added a great degree of crunch.
Salt Caramel Parfait with Chocolate Brioche, Peanut and Lime: I still am surprised every time (positively) when I order a parfait and don’t get served a pudding like dessert in a glass, like it happens in the US. A parfait in the UK means a rectangular dessert, akin to a mousse, but more solid. In this case, we went for three types, two rectangular parfaits and the lemon one that was shaped like a quenelle and with a moussier consistency that the others. I could have been happy without the lemon one, as the flavour pairing didn’t make much sense to me. On the other hand, the saltier caramel parfait was delicious, while the chocolate was more like a dry brownie in texture.
In sum: tasty meal, plain vibe and service. The food was good but not enough to want us to run back, for a nice and unpretentious Michelin I prefer Medlar Chelsea. Next time we still have to try Clarke’s, another Kensington staple that we never went to, even though we lived but a five-minute walk away. Kitchen W8 has a very well-priced lunch menu but I tend not to have three course lunch mid-week as I then just want to fall asleep at my desk….
Kitchen W8 http://www.kitchenw8.com/
11-13 Abingdon Rd, London W8 6AH
+4420 7937 0120