Pétrus’s ex-chef has helped tranform this once-sleepy townhouse in a Kensington back street into one of the most notable London openings (well, re-openings) of recent times; efficient service and the comfortable ambience only enhance the experience.
former Duke of Devonshire once observed that he was the only person he knew who woke up every morning with nothing at all to complain about, save possibly the fact that he had nothing in the world to complain about. Being able to find nothing at all wrong with D&D group’s relaunch of this Kensington back street townhouse, we feel obliged, albeit in a different context, to echo his grace’s sentiments.
With Tristan Welch as chef – until recently he was head chef at Pétrus, voted best restaurant overall in our most recent survey – it was never likely that this was going to be 'just another opening’, and we thought the food was consistently very good to exceptional, and often beautifully presented. (A pre-dessert of little custards, for example, came wittily but not over-cutely presented in a boiled egg stand, and delicious they were too.)
Even the bargain lunchtime menu offers ‘different‘ – but not forced or silly – dishes that really work. If one could make any sort of negative observation – it could not be really called a criticism – it is that some of the dishes, such as a hearty risotto starter, are surprisingly substantial.
Staff are attentive too, and – like the smartly contemporary interior – manage to avoid giving the impression of trying too hard. All in all, therefore, this discreetly located spot – at the end of a cute row of multi-million pound houses – is now, for our money, one of the better all-round, all-purpose restaurants in town.