Celebrating a year to our wedding at my favourite restaurant.
Kettner’s has been at the heart of Soho’s restaurant and bar scene for decades; surviving wars, different monarchies, more than a few recessions and all manor of changes in the word since it opened in 1867. One Saturday night it was host to Hana and I as we celebrated one year till our wedding!
With a lot to look forward to and a lot of planning to do (check out my groom blog here) we thought we’d celebrate with a meal at one of our favourite London restaurants and celebration spots.
Kettner’s describes itself as “gloriously glamorous” and is home to a wonderful brasserie which serves an elegant menu of modern European cuisine. It isn’t for the everyday, but for a celebration it is absolutely perfect and not as drastically priced as you might expect from a restaurant set in a Georgian town house in the centre of trendy Soho. Expect to pay up to £30 for a main course (though you may want to add an extra side dish priced at £3.75 each). With each of us having starters, main courses, a dessert, sharing a carafe of house white wine, a large bottle of water and a glass of the recommended prosecco we spent around £120. I think that isn’t a bad price, all things considered.
Kettner’s occupies a beautiful Georgian town house on the corner of Romilly Street and Greek Street. The dining room itself is heavenly, dripping in elegance and style. I always feel I have slipped back in time and across the channel to a Parisian dining room in the 1920’s. I love everything from the light colour of the painted wooden chairs to the sophisticated apparel and the lovely colour of the walls. I love everything about that place.
Last time we dined at Kettner’s we used a voucher offer from LastMinute.Com which meant ordering from a set menu. This time we didn’t so we could order from the À la carte menu.
We both started with a classic and all time favourite of mine, French Onion Soup. The soup was perfectly flavoured, the onions soft and sweet with croutons and toasted cheese on top. I adore this starter and chose it as I knew it would be good, Hana had it last time we were here.
Moving on the the main courses Hana chose the Rabbit three ways. The rabbit was prepared as spring rolls, wrapped in parma ham and a fillet. Hana shared a spring roll with me, as well as some of the rabbit wrapped in parma ham and they were both divinely prepared. The pastry on the spring roll was beautifully crisp and the filling succulent.
My main course was the Gressingham duck breast served with potato gratin and blackberry compote. The duck was succulent, rare, packed with falvour… it was perfect (have I used that word too much yet?). The potato gratin was gorgeous, smooth and strong enough in flavour to work with the duck but not be drowned out. The blackberry compote packed a significant punch, which was good as this was a plate of strong flavours. Each component effortlessly complimented the others, not an easy job when dealing with rich hearty flavours.
Did we have room for pudding? Yes we did! Hana ordered a delightful citrus cheesecake, delish. I went with one of my all time favourites, Creme Brulee. From the first satisfying crack of the sugar crust to the last mouthful this pudding always transports me to the Paris of Amelie, all green filters, canals and Montmartre.
We sat back, stomach’s full of great food and lovely wine.
After dark and intimate
Across the main hallway from the brasserie is the Cocktail and Champagne bar. The decor continues the roaring 20’s theme with a stunningly stocked bar which has one of London’s premier and largest ranges of champagne. Kettner’s Bar by Champagne Laurent-Perrier stocks over 100 of bubbly as well as prosecco and a brilliant selection of cocktails. If the sparkling stuff is your thing I recommend the hand crafted Grand Casino Royale Bellini which combines Grand Marnier, Creme de Cassis, Champagne and an orange twist. Also if you are peckish (even after a 3 course meal) then they have a nice array of nibbles – and ‘Three Tiny Burgers’ with hand cut chips should fill any spaces you have left!
If you are celebrating with a large group it’s a good idea to book one of the two ‘nooks’ available which will give you a bit more privacy.
29 Romilly St
Liked this restaurant review? Find more here