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There are tens of thousands of restaurants in London to choose from. That’s overwhelming. Some are certainly better than others. Here’s another recommendation from me in case you happen to be in the posh Chelsea part of town.
This week, I had a few hours in London between a flight from Morocco and a bus to Scotland. Looking for somewhere nice to have dinner, I chose Tom’s Kitchen on BookaTable.com, primarily for their offer of a free champagne with the meal. I know many of you know I’m not a big drinker, but there’s nothing wrong with a nice glass of bubbly with dinner now and then. I made reservations for 6 p.m. with a friend. A good thing too as the restaurant fillled up rapidly after we arrived.
The decor of Tom’s Kitchen is modern and fancy – appropriate for fine dining in one of London’s high-end boroughs (neighborhoods). A bar setup dominates the front of the restaurant, while the kitchen is in the back behind a low wall, allowing you to watch the chefs prepare meals. There are only a handful of tables on the main floor and another couple dozen tables are upstairs in a more intimate setting. I actually don’t know if that floor was reserved for private parties or not.
Per their website, they promote their uniqueness as such: “Offering a comfortable environment and focusing on outstanding food, drink and service, Tom’s Kitchen can be found across Central London and Birmingham. Focusing on comforting classics and seasonal specials, Tom’s Kitchen’s [sic] use the very best of British produce, working with passionate suppliers, farmers and chefs.
As we arrived, we had a whole team of wait staff ready to show us to our tables. They gave us a choice of champagne or prosecco for our complimentary drink. We went with the champagne.
The menu has a range of meat and vegetarian options such as sirloin steaks, lamb rumps, wild mushroom risottos and lentil burgers. The main dishes range from £18 to £32 ($23-$41). A long list of small plates (£6) and sides (£4.5) are also available. As is my tradition for my first meal back in the UK, I went with the fish and chips, while my friend ordered the Mallard breast. There was a special menu for the week in celebration of #gameweek, featuring five different game birds.
To say the food was good would be an understatement. I won’t use all the hackneyed hyperbole I’m tempted to spit out, as tempting as that is. They wouldn’t actually spill the beans on how they made the fish, but it was definitely a very fresh cod coated in a proprietary beer batter recipe. The batter was somewhere between slightly crispy and flaky…basically the melt in your mouth kind of stuff. A large bowl of thick chips (fries) were served on the side, along with small bowls of crushed peas and tartar sauce.
As to the Mallard breast, I’m usually not a big game fan (I usually find the meat too tough), but I found Tom’s Kitchen’s dish quite delectable. It was richly flavored and not nearly a hard to chew as I thought it would be. They served it with red cabbage puree, blackberries and rainbow chard. I’d consider that pretty fancy! I believe they used it at an awards dinner earlier that week.
By the time we finished the main course, we were stuffed and had to forgo any sweet stuff. The dessert selection did look wonderful, and I would usually happily devour a sticky fig and toffee pudding or perhaps a blackberry winter fruit cobbler, but we simply couldn’t think of eating another bite. What a shame!