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  Kitchen W8 – A Restaurant With a Buzz

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 United States.

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 for it.

Carefully protected 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 cabernet sauvignon.

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
London, England


Photographs by Harvey Frommer

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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. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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