Kettner’s Brasserie, Soho

Planning my latest dinner date with my best friend, we couldn’t decide where to go so rather than trying somewhere new, we settled on an old favourite that we both love: Kettner’s. We’d not been for a while and I was vey much looking forward to going back to the luxurious and stylish townhouse in the heart of Soho that never fails to make me feel comfortable, welcome, spoiled and feed me delicious food.
Kettner’s has an old fashioned charm that just makes you feel looked after. The staff are excellent and you’re always greeted with a warm smile that makes you feel like they’re giving you that extra special personal service. From the concierge at the front desk to every member of staff who says hello to you as if they are glad to see you, you’re escorted into the dining room with its beautiful 1930’s Parisian decor where a pianist plays at a beautiful white grand piano alongside the beautifully presented dessert table.

I certainly have my favourites on Kettner’s menu but for the sake of variety and just to make sure that everything on the menu is absolutely divine and not just my usual favourites, I branched out a bit this time. Ordinarily I’d go for the French Onion Soup, but this time I decided to go for a seafood themed evening and began with the mussels. In a classic creamy sauce, the mussels were nice and meaty and delicious, there were a couple of tiny ones in there, but amongst a generous portion this real didn’t matter. I’d have liked a chunk of bread on the side to soak up the sauce, but as my friend Jess had plenty as she’d asked for extra with her chicken liver parfait, I just pinched a bit of hers. Naturally I tried a bit of the parfait too which was lovely with a hint of orange flavour running through it.

 

Steamed Cornish mussels with white wine cream, shallots, garlic & parsley
Chicken liver parfait with red onion marmalade & crispy bread
Continuing my fishy theme for the evening I chose trout for dinner which came with a sesame crust, a sundried tomato risotto and a beurre blanc sauce. I was a little skeptical as to how these elements would all go together but of course it worked. The risotto was for me the stand out element of the dish. I’m more familiar with creamy, cheesy, mushroomy risottos so I was curious about a tomato based one, but it was delicious and has inspired me to have a go at making something similar myself at home. A forkful with a little bit of the trout, risotto and beurre blanc from this dish was seriously good, it’s amazing how each thing on its own can be good, but combining them all together really transforms them into something great.
Sesame crusted sea trout with sundried tomato risotto, beurre blanc
Although I didn’t order it this time, I simply cannot write about Kettner’s without mentioning the beef bourguignon. It’s my absolute favourite thing on the menu. My friend Jess had it as she simply finds it impossible to order anything else in there. Even the mash it comes with is the best mash I’ve ever tasted.  I’ve tried many a beef bourguignon in lots of different French brasserie style restaurants, but nothing comes close to Kettner’s. It’s simply the best.
Beef Bourguignon with smoked bacon, button mushrooms, mashed potato
Dessert is probably the only course where I haven’t picked my favourites. This time we ordered the Bakewell tart and chocolate mousse between us. The chocolate mousse wasn’t on the menu, but we’d seen a couple at another table with it and asked the waitress about it. She informed us that it was a dessert from the set pre/post theatre menu but ordering off menu wouldn’t be a problem at all. I didn’t find the Bakewell tart as outstanding as I find the rest of the food at Kettner’s but it was still a very good tart. The mousse on the other hand was more of a thick cream than a mousse, but not having seen it’s exact description on the menu I’m not sure exactly what it was advertised as. It was pretty heavenly, and as much as this might sound like a really silly thing to say since it was obviously supposed to taste like chocolate, but it really tasted like proper chocolate.
Bakewell Tart with clotted cream
Chocolate Mousse

If you hadn’t gathered from this praise lavishing post yet, I really love Kettner’s. It feels so special and on top of the delicious food, the service is truly exceptional. So many restaurants of a similar standard feel a little snooty and make you feel a bit out of place if you’re not wearing your best frock and pearls and ordering the priciest bottle of champagne, whereas here I can say that, without exception, every single member of staff has been truly lovely to me and gone out of their way to make sure every aspect of my evening is just right. So often staff make you feel as if you’re being awkward if you dare to request anything more than the basic standard but at Kettner’s I’d never hesitate to ask for extra bread with my soup, change a dish I didn’t like or to move tables if I was uncomfortable where I was sitting and so on, as I know they’d accommodate me happily. What I also love about this restaurant is how accessible it makes fine dining, you don’t have to go here and blow your budget because alongside the main menu they have a reasonably priced set pre/post theatre menu and also accept Tastecard which gets you two for one on all courses, meaning that so many more people can enjoy this delightful place.

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