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Kensington Place Restaurant

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published September 28th 2010
Diana used to dine here in the day, and people used to fawn over her through the floor to ceiling windows. Then, as well as celebrity diners, Kensington Place was known for its sparse décor, which served to make the place quite noisy when it was full. Today the glass topped tables have been covered with cloths which has deadened the sound, and the clientèle is made up with regular folks as well as famous ones. So that's two improvements already.

Another improvement is the price, it's quite reasonable, especially if you opt for the set menu which for lunch is £15 for two courses and £19 for three, and for dinner is £19 for two courses and £23 for three. There's usually quite a decent choice on the set menus – from the restaurant's signature fish dishes, to more rural inland options. And it's worth paying for the extra course, their deserts are really, really good.

But there's no point hearing that the set menu's are good value and offer some tasty options if you don't know what they are, so here's a sampler of some of the dinner menu:
Begin with crab bisque, potted smoked trout or scallops, or warm smoked haddock salad, tempura prawns, butternut squash, pan-seared foie gras or ox tongue.
Follow that with delicious cod fish cakes, confit salmon, roast fillet of sea bream, braised short rib of beef, black pepper gnocchi, butter poached chicken or a good old serving of haddock and triple cooked chips.
Then to finish...mmmm... coffee mousse, blackberry and fromage frais mousse, rice pudding, apple in butterscotch sauce, chocolate delice with malt ice cream, salted caramel and sesame tuile or that wonderful French desert that translates to "Floating Island", and is a vanilla parfait floating in praline and salted caramel jus (or sweet jus equivalent). Or cheese. Of course.
Personal Recommendation: poached salmon if they're doing it – it's the most delicious form of salmon I've ever tasted and I love salmon, and the chocolate sorbet.
The wine list is very decent, if priced a little higher than elsewhere.

The genre is supposed to be modern British brasserie cuisine, but the Head Chef is French trained, so the French penchant for making meals that are small but very pretty looking prevails – at least a bit. So expect a nicely laid out plate but not a heaped plate.

The restaurant is best known for its fish though, still. Party because it's got its own fishmongers next door, called The Fish Shop, where you can buy fish cakes made in the restaurant, as well as the same wet fish and crustacea that they're serving.

Monday to Friday 12-3pm
Saturday and Sunday 12-3.30pm

Monday to Thursday 6.30pm – 10:30pm
Friday & Saturday 6.30pm - 11pm
Sunday 6.30pm - 10pm
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Why? A destination restaurant that's in an affordable stage
Where: 201 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 7LX, nearest tube stations Notting Hill or High St. Kensington
Cost: From £15 for a set lunch
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