100 kensington
' Get in there before they come to their senses and bump up the prices'

100 Kensington

Afternoon tea Mon–Sun midday–5pm; dinner Mon–Sun 5.30pm–9.30pm; brunch Sat–Sun midday–4pm

“A mere stone’s throw from South Kensington tube station,” read the press release for 100 Kensington.

This is ironic because throwing stones is one of the first things I think about whenever I go to South Kensington tube. Permanently crowded with potentially otherwise intelligent people who can’t operate a ticket barrier, merely getting out of the place is a mission in itself.

Once outside, at one exit you’re confronted by the Lamborghini showroom, a reminder that you’re not rich enough to be here, while on the other side sits the underground fight club for people called Bunty: Boujis, a reminder that you’re (probably) not tasteless enough to be here, either.

Still, there is fun to be had, once you get out, namely if you make it to 100 Kensington. The new sister restaurant to 100 Shoreditch—itself very popular with high street residents who have just paid half a million for a council flat in a former warzone and need a reason to go outside—100 Kensington is the second place to get the works from owner Andrew Zilouf and ex-Ottolenghi Head Chef Francis Puyat. Given that I couldn’t pronounce their names and have managed to enjoy even an extortionate £32 takeaway salad from Ottolenghi before, I suspected I would be in good hands.

 I wasn’t wrong. The tasting menu was pretty spectacular and, at £20 a head, very reasonably priced too.

I had: the Broccoli and sweet potato fritter, Bresaola pickled celery radicchio, Cured salmon tigers milk sweet potato and Lamb rump. I’d say the salmon was average and the others good-to-spectacular. To top this off, we enjoyed a selection of desserts, including a salted caramel doughnut so good that it may well be amongst my dying thoughts. Amazing.

As well as a decent menu, there’s a great range of cocktails on offer, too. I had a Cherry Coke old-fashioned, served in a glass with a chunk of ice so big it would give Rose DeWitt Bukater PTSD. Great stuff.

A special nod to the venue design: it’s raised ground floor and not rammed. Decor is a combination of contemporary and antique furniture and the end feel is that of someone’s lounge. A lounge belonging to a very rich person who hired a very expensive interior designer.

I left 100 Kensington fully sated yet hungry for more and look forward to going back. Getting to the tube, I realised that Boujis had shut down. Sad! Despite what Boujis seemed desperate to tell you at every opportunity, that money can’t buy taste, they were wrong. It can, and it’s five minutes in the other direction at 100 Kensington. Get in there before they come to their senses and realise that they can bump up the prices.

The details:

100 Kensington, 8-10 Queensberry Place, Kensington, London SW7 2EA; 020 7915 0000; kensington@100restaurants.co.uk; www.100restaurants.co.uk

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