Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Kensington
Hardens guides have spent 25 years compiling reviews of the best Kensington restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 44 restaurants in Kensington and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Kensington restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Kensington Restaurants
. Min Jiang, The Royal Garden Hotel
Chinese restaurant in Kensington
2-24 Kensington High St - W8
“Exquisite Beijing duck” and “divine dim sum” are twin culinary highlights of this “top-class” Chinese, which occupies a “beautiful and comfortable” dining room on the eighth floor of Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel. “The rare and privileged views across the park to Kensington Palace takes this place to another level”, though – “request a window seat!”
. Il Portico
Italian restaurant in Kensington
277 Kensington High St - W8
“One of the last, good, old-fashioned Italians, churning out those dishes we love” – this “always reliable, family run Italian” has “a formula that’s worked for decades, so why change?”. There’s a “wonderful manager, James” (the original owner’s son), and “you’re always welcomed like a long-lost friend”. But “it’s not an institution living on past glories”: “the food is without pretence” but “with some newer dishes to maintain interest”.
Indian restaurant in Kensington
The Barkers Building, Derry Street - W8
“No wonder people queue out the door!” – “it feels like you are actually in Mumbai, even the smells wafting round the room”, at these “terrific” and “incredibly busy” outlets, whose “distinctive” interiors generate a “vibrant atmosphere” that’s reasonably faithful to the buzz in India’s Irani cafés. “The bar areas with good cocktails help make the long and boring wait bearable” and, once seated, servers “are full of fun and energy” (admittedly probably with one eye on “efficiently maximising table turnover”). For most customers, any hassle is “worth it for the absolutely yum-tastic Indian street food” – special shout outs go to the “the reinvention of the bacon butty (naan with crispy cured Ginger Pig bacon) which is the perfect breakfast”; and “the black daal and Ruby Murray, which are standout dishes”. But declining ratings do support the doubters who feel that “quality has declined following the brand’s extraordinary rise in popularity”, or that “while it’s good enough, the chain definitely doesn’t excite like it once did”. Even most critics would acknowledge that “the glow hasn’t worn off Dishoom yet”, however, and if you haven’t been already, you should go: it can still provide “a real revelation”.
. Launceston Place
British, Modern restaurant in Kensington
1a Launceston Pl - W8
This “tucked-away townhouse in Kensington” has “a unique set-up” that makes for a “romantic” ambience and – with its “attentive but unobtrusive service” – is “ideal for a relaxed, long, blow-out meal”. Foodwise it’s “had its ups-and-downs as chefs have changed over the last several years”, but since Ben Murphy took over the stoves in early 2017, most reporters feel the “the food is back on fantastic form” with “wonderful innovative dishes from this wunderkind new chef”: “the little extras such as the lovely amuses bouches and petits fours lift the meal and make it a real treat”. One or two reporters, though, feel it still has a way to go: “there are some wonderful flavour combinations: if the kitchen only had the level and consistency of execution to keep up with these, this place could trouble the Michelin inspectors for a visit”.
. Kitchen W8
British, Modern restaurant in Kensington
11-13 Abingdon Road - W8
“An upmarket neighbourhood restaurant, in an upmarket part of town” – this “unpretentious” sidestreet fixture, just off High Street Ken’, has a deserved reputation for “always good and sometimes exceptional cuisine” aided by input from star chef Phil Howard (who has an interest in it). If there’s a weakness, it’s an ambience that fans find “lovely” but which critics feel is “a touch limp” – perhaps its August 2018 revamp will add va va voom. Top Tip: “the set lunch menu is great value”.
Pizza restaurant in Kensington
267 Kensington High Street - W8
“So much better than the chain alternatives” – this smart three-year-old pizzeria directly opposite the new Design Museum in Kensington “specialises in on-site-produced pizzas… and what pizzas they are, the tastiest ever!”. An offshoot of the family-run Il Portico five doors away, it shares the same “friendly service”.
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