Kitchen W8 – A Restaurant With
Kitchen W8 opened in October
2009. We set out for our dining visit on a rainy night in December
2011. Their home page declares “We hope that our restaurant in
Kensington will prove to be a much loved local and one that is used
by sundry in our neighborhood on a regular basis.”
Unfortunately, we were
not local having arrived from three weeks in India, tarrying
for several nights in London, then heading back to the
But we had heard this
was a restaurant with a buzz, one that had been awarded a
Michelin star in 2011, one that had all good things going
from the rain in a commodious London taxi we headed out. The
driver was kindly, courteous but confused. He could not find
Kitchen W8 even though he had heard good things about the
dining place. He actually drove past it twice until he found
it - -just off High Street.
The place was very
crowded with what looked to like very serious diners
inter-generational who seemed in the main to be repeat
customers. In a neighborhood known for good restaurants,
that was a plus. The environment sparkled in black and white
like a Hollywood set from the 1940s, not quite Film Noir,
and more contemporary feel. There was a preponderance of
banquettes, big mirrors, subdued lighting, and a silvery
feel. There were lovely linens and dishes.
The whole look spoke well as
an example of the revolution in English dining. Very sophisticated.
But we knew as someone once said the proof would be in the tasting.
The home page also
declares that the menu merges modern English style with a
French soul. There was also a touch of the Italian there,
too. Our server was a lovely young woman, very French.
Possessed of a beautiful voice, she also was in the know
about every facet of the menu and the place. And we
definitely had our fill of fine food and drink.
We each started with a
a glass of champagne, then a carafe of Rioja, ruby-red,
perfect for a winter night, then a splendid and cheering
There were the little
salt cod fish cakes, the delicious breads, especially the
crusty brown Sour Dough. There was a crispy hen’s egg with
parmesan Polenta, wilted chanterelles.
A dish of slow poached
cod with brown shrimps, another main course pot roast guinea
fowl with crushed artichokes. And then for dessert – poached
new season’s Yorkshire rhubarb with Clementine ice cream and
a portion of quince sorbet.
As someone said the proof is
in the tasting. Oh, what tasting it was. Carefully planned and
prepared, lingering on the palate and on the memory. It’s a good
thing the taxi driver found Kitchen W8 – A Restaurant With a Buzz.
Phone: 020 7937|0120
11-12 Abingdon Road
Photographs by Harvey Frommer
# # #
About the Authors: Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband
team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional
scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories
It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in
America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in
Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.
They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining
as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United
States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
about these authors.
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This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer. All rights