May 03, 2011

Kensington Place

I call London my second home and in London, Notting Hill and Holland Park is home for me. I love the houses, shops, restaurants, bars and pubs. I get a homey feeling whenever I'm there. It's very likely though I will never be able to get a flat there, but a girl can always dream... Playing the lottery might help too...

Kensington Place on Kensington Church Street is a restaurant I've passed by many, many times and I have of course watched the people through the big glass windows. Just like I'm sure they have watched me. It's not a place where you eat alone, even though I don't think they would mind. Restaurants seldom do, even though they sometimes place single women in the corner next to the kitchen door. Guess it might scare off the guests with a woman dining by herself... A reason why I love travelling solo in France. They treat me like a lady where ever I come. Alone or with company I'm a customer and deserve to be treated well.

So when it was time to show my friend Suss what I love in London, Notting Hill was of course one of the places and Kensington Place the choice for dinner our first evening out. Running late and slightly tipsy after a drink at The Churchill Arms. A drink that went straight to the head (that's what happens when you get up at 4 am and hardly eat nothing all day) we arrived just as the sun started to set. First we almost entered the fish shop on the corner and giggled some more before finding the correct door.

We were quickly seated at table right in the middle of the restaurant and very soon given menus as well. After looking at the menu for a minute or two we were done. Fresh English asparagus with home made hollandaise as starters and crab risotto as main course. Looking at the wine list I told Suss that some William Fèvre Chablis 2008 would go very well with what we had chosen. Unfortunately it only came in a full bottle. And that is a problem?, was Suss comment and that set the tone for the rest of the evening.

While waiting for our starters we couldn't help but looking at a woman in her late 50's or early 60's having dinner with a man at least 25 years her junior. And no, it wasn't her son. You don't rub your foot all over your son's leg working your way up to his crotch... She was wearing big sunglasses all through their meal even though the restaurant turned down the lights halfway through our meal. Maybe she was someone famous?!

Not really sure what happened when we got our starters. I was just about to dig in when the head waiter came said and our starters had been mixed up and removed them. To us it looked like he just went back to the kitchen with them and came out again. Strange. Still fresh asparagus are divine and nothing can change that.

The crab risotto arrived very quickly as well, but I got quite disappointed. Yes, seafood risotto shouldn't be as creamy and rich as other risottos, but the rice shouldn't be chewy almost hard and taste from the salty bullion. The crab meat was very nice, even though quite salty as well. Not good and we actually left half of it. Very rare for me since I love risotto, but on the other hand I have become quite picky to how it's cooked.

When it was time to look at the dessert menu the waiter told us that he was all out of menus for the moment. And that is my problem?! He could easily have waited a minute or two until some other guests where done. Strange. He explained very well though what was on the menu and we went for KP’s lemon trifle with lemon sorbet and meringue and Chocolate delice with malt ice cream and sesame tuile.

We had a great dinner catching up on things and the wine was very nice, but still they could have done better both on food and service. So even though I don't like saying it I was a bit disappointed. A sign that the food truly was salty was that we probably gulped down half a litre of water each before going to bed. And that was not because of having too much wine. We were just plain thirsty.

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