Kitchen W8, located just off Kensington High Street, was launched in 2009 by co-owners Rebecca Mascarenhas and Phil Howard, with chef Mark Kempson at the helm. It was awarded a Michelin star in 2011, so this year it is celebrating a decade of that award. Having always wanted to eat there, we thought that this year would be the perfect time to go see it.
With fall upon us and the nights approaching, it was already dark when we arrived for our early dinner, and we settled into a cozy corner in the back. This time of year also brings many new seasonal ingredients and Kitchen W8 currently offers many game dishes and a truffle tasting menu to celebrate.
We went out of our way for a game tasting menu (no longer available, but there are still plenty of game dishes) just to try something different. We were a little concerned that it was too A lot of game, which of course can be quite rich and heavy, but happily the menu was very well balanced and thought out.
We started with what was essentially a mini hot dog, but not an old hot dog, of course. This one featured a wild duck sausage, BBQ beet tomato sauce, and crispy artichoke on a brioche bun. Just a couple of bites, but a bright and fun way to serve the game. Next up was the ‘bresaola hare’, which had the potential to be quite complete, but was actually treated very lightly, with cured hare meat served with crisp fall leaves, damson, celery and honey truffle.
The fallow deer fillet was the first of two more “main” dishes, a beautiful, rich cut of meat served with potato skins that had been stuffed with a venison ragu and a black pepper emulsion. Next up was the roasted partridge breast accompanied by a mini cake filled with a host of fall flavors: chanterelles, pumpkin, and truffle liqueur. We finished with a classic rice pudding with roasted pear, hazelnut and ginger, a perfect dessert for fall.
All in all, Kitchen W8 is a great place; laid back but quite old fashioned, which is to be expected given its location, and we were certainly the youngest people there in some way. However, sometimes it takes a bit of old school glamor and the food and wine were excellent. As we walked out we saw a really nice private dining room that is actually right at the front of the restaurant, rather than hidden in the back. It could be a great option for a group Christmas dinner with friends or colleagues if you work that way.
The 4-course truffle menu is available until November 28, 2021
11-13 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH