Last Thursday Stew and I enjoyed ‘date night’ at the wonderful restaurant that is, Tom’s Kitchen, in Chelsea. I had heard great things about Tom’s Kitchen from a couple of friends, so I was excited all afternoon, waiting for our reservation.
Located less than a 10 minute walk from South Kensington tube stop, Tom’s Kitchen is set back from the hustle and bustle of tourists taking photos outside beautiful, white pillared homes. (Who am I kidding, I’m totally one of those people!). At 7pm the street was deserted, on a dark and cold night the restaurant glowed with a warm and inviting presence.
Upon arrival we were seated in a window seat (my favourite) and the manager, Bahadir Potukoglu, introduced himself with an accompanying glass of bubbles each! This was a special touch, and I knew instantly we were in for a great night.
The dinner menu is relatively small, but what they might lose on quantity, they certainly make up for in quality! I find a smaller, more select menu, is always a sign of a good restaurant. With mouthwatering meats, delicate dressings and scrumptious specials, the appetising menu has been cleverly designed. The side selection has been created in a way that there is at least one, if not two, that go with each main, and the grills come with just two options of steak sauce – and quite frankly, who needs anymore? Why complicate things that are so simple and perfectly done.
After saying that our choices felt complicated, mainly because we are incredible foodies and simply couldn’t choose! After receiving some suggestions from Bahadir, we opted for the hand dived scallops and roast Yorkshire pigeon to start.
Pigeon is not a bird either of us were familiar with eating and we were intrigued to know what it tasted like. It has a very strong flavour, something that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, it was cooked to perfection, and the light mix of beetroot, celeriac and parsnip crisp salad, gave the perfect balance to the dish.
I have to say the scallops with caper puree, charred cauliflower and raisin vinaigrette were sensational though! Hands down (and hand dived), the best scallops I have ever tasted – and the biggest! They were of a great size, really quite meaty in texture, and cooked just the right amount of time – lightly seared on both sides. The raisin dressing was different too, not something I would think to put with scallops, but it added a lovely touch of sweetness to the seafood.
Now for the piece de resistance – our mains! By this point we had finished our champagne and needed to make a decision about wine as well as food. After finally coming to the conclusion that we would have a main each (rather than trying the £50 seven hour confit lamb for 2!!), we chose a carafe of red wine.
Not being able to get the idea of lamb out of my head, I went for the lamb rump with braised shallots, on a bed of black olive couscous. Stew opted for the special of the day – beef with a mushroom puree, and we shared a side of buttered savoy cabbage. Although my dish was large, I was happy to have a side of greens.
Both meats were cooked perfectly. We asked for medium-rare and they were spot on! The lamb was so good I’ve even zoomed in for you to get a better look…
Finally with not an ounce of room left in us, the manager reappeared, suggesting the baked Alaska as a show stopping dessert. We succumbed (rather easily) to the temptation and shortly after he came back with a copper skillet with what can only be described as a mountain of meringue!
Not wanting us to miss this fantastic photo opportunity, he suggest we got our cameras at the ready. And without further ado he drizzles a little alcohol across the top and lit it up. Just look at the flame!
Now this dessert is recommended to share, and I would heartily agree.
With (very) full stomachs we proceeded to say thank you and good evening. And that’s exactly what it was – a good evening, in fact a GREAT evening. I really couldn’t recommend this place enough. I of course haven’t tried all of their establishments (they also have restaurants in Canary Wharf, Somerset House, St Katherine Docks and Istanbul), but I can vouch that I’m sure they’re all to the same excellent standard.
Now of course with this quality of food and it’s brilliant location, it won’t be a cheap date night. However the food really does speak for itself, and if you’re a foodie like me, I would highly recommend it. In total we had a carafe of red wine, two starters, two mains and a dessert, and the bill came to £103.
Plus if you’re into wine, I feel the extensive wine menu would be all the temptation you need.