Kensington Place, London

www.kensingtonplace-restaurant.co.uk

I recently went off to London for the day with a friend to visit the Grace Kelly exhibition in the V&A. So we decided to book a lunch table in advance through Top Table.  The restaurant we decided upon was Kensington Place which is located on Kensington Church Street, a five minute stroll from Notting Hill Gate tube station and very easy to find.

For lunch the set menu cost £15 for two courses and £19 for three, and booking with Top Table you get a small glass of house wine as well.  There was a large selection available on the set menu, so I doubt that anyone would struggle to find something they liked the look of. The restaurant itself is light and modern, with architectural chairs which were comfier than they looked.  In contrast to everything around it, a bright summery mural of a lakeside scene took up one entire wall of the restaurant and yet managed  not to seem out of place.

Our meal started with a choice of breads to nibble on before our starters arrived.  I had chosen the Ballotine of Loch Duart salmon, oyster vinaigrette and pickled vanilla cucumber, and my companion went for the English asparagus salad, soft egg and Alsace bacon.  Both starters were beautifully presented.

Ballontine of Loch Duart salmon, oyster vinaigrette and pickled vanilla cucumber

English asparagus salad, soft egg and Alsace bacon

My salmon was wonderfully soft, gently breaking when cut.  It was very delicate tasting, in contrast to the accompaniments, but managed not to get lost under these.  The pickled cucumber was delicate and sharp, with just a background hint of vanilla, and the vinaigrette was similarly tasty.  Unfortunately the egg on my friends plate was a little too firm to be called soft, otherwise I would have had no complaints about this course.

For mains, my friend opted for the Confit duck leg, warm garlic sausage, frise salad and red wine jus .I had the Pot roasted chicken, leeks, glazed macaroni, leek veloute and lamb’s lettuce.  Again these dishes were well presented.

Pot roasted chicken, leeks, glazed macaroni, leek veloute and lamb’s lettuce

duck leg, warm garlic sausage, frise salad and red wine jus

My chicken was great, the chef had worked really hard to showcase the meat and I had a leg, a deboned thigh and a good wedge of breast, all of which was succulent and full of flavour.  This skin was a little soggy, but that’s to be expected with a pot roast, and it tasted wonderful regardless.

The accompanying leeks and were sweet and so was the veloute, though if I were to nitpick, this was a little thin.  The glazed macaroni (long pieces of macaroni with a thick cheese topping) was an unusual accompaniment which worked well with the chicken.  Overall the dish was visually appealing and lovely to eat, but did lack texture with everything on the plate being soft.

Whereas my chicken had been quite subtle, the duck was a boldly flavoured dish with plenty of garlic and a deep jus complemented by the fresh spring vegetables and frisee.  It was an enjoyable dish both to admire and eat.

Although the portions were not terribly large, the two courses proved more than enough and we decided to forgo desserts.  Overall I would say that the food was eye catching presented and wonderful to eat.  The set menu was great value for money and the faults I’ve noted were minor things, the things that were done right far outnumbering the ones that weren’t.  I would look forward to eating there again if I’m in the area, and would happily recommend the restaurant to others.

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