I managed to get a really great deal which effectively meant paying almost half price for dining at Tom Aikens well respected restaurant.
Located in South Kensington down a quiet street, the interior is stark and modern. Unlike many other places in London, tables aren’t jam-packed together and perhaps that’s really in anticipation of the enjoyable meal to come.
The bread serving was quite impressive with a selection of six or seven different types – not that we tried all of them. I particularly enjoyed the olive bread although they had a polenta bread, buttermilk bread, sesame bread, and sundried tomato. I think they came around two or three times to offer us the wonderous little rolls.
The amuse was a trio of different things including a little cheese croquette, shot of basil and tomato soup and a gel filled with something I cannot remember.
The starter, effectively a ceviche, yet labelled as Marinated Scallops, lemon oil, lardo crudo was lovely. All very thin delicate wisps of food, and despite not being a fan of lardo, its creaminess really worked well with the delicate scallop flavours.
Next up, Cured Foie Gras, pickled mushrooms, foie gras mousse, Sauternes jelly was a wonderous combination of many earthy flavours. I particularly liked the mushroom jelly that was so small yet really strong flavoured.
The next course, John Dory Fillet, roast cauliflower purée, brown butter, smoked eel came impeccably cooked. The fish flaking lightly as a just-cooked fish should be and, me, always a sucker for smoked eel enjoying every single last bite.
My sister enjoyed the Sea Bass poached in black olive oil, pickled fennel and artichoke, black olive crumb although I don’t think it was impressive as it could have been.
My main, Loin of Rhug Estate Lamb marinated in ewes cheese, aligot potato, dried green olive was perfect. Nicely cooked, pink and tender with a really enjoyable plate of food.
Although offered a cheese course, we started noticing how full we were from the richness of the food. So we moved on to dessert, the first being Fresh Coconut, coconut crème, watermelon, mint syrup. It was a refreshing dish, with a subtle coconut flavour and summery flavours and textures.
The final dessert, a Passion Fruit Jelly, vanilla pannacotta, passion fruit granité was definitely my favourite. Creamy panna cotta, tangy passionfruit flavours and a final refreshing granité.
It’s definitely worthwhile enjoying their petite fours. As you can see there were so many different pastries and combinations to enjoy.
They were just as decadent with their chocolate selection as well. I was surprised at how empty the restaurant was for a Tuesday evening but our meal and accompanying service made us not even take notice.
Name: Tom Aikens
Found at: 43 Elystan Street, London SW3 3NT