Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kensington Pavilion

Smart cooking in Kensington

Adam Simmonds shouldn't be a stranger to any British based foodies these days after becoming one of the winners in the latest Great British Menu programme on the BBC, serving a D Day banquet to the war heroes at St Paul Cathedral. He is now the head chef at the members club Kensington Pavilion whose restaurant opened to the public. The newly revamped restaurant has a beautiful champagne bar positioned in the middle, along with a deli counter and kitchen counter on either side.

Kensington Pavilion
Head chef Adam Simmonds
Confit mackerel, oyster mayonnaise, horseradish

We decided to sit at the kitchen counter to witness the kitchen in action unfolding in front of us first hand. My starter of slow cooked pork belly already had given me a good indication of what Adam is capable of, the pork belly was not overly fatty and had a lovely tender texture. The home-made black pudding was outrageously good and can rival the version I had back in Le Gavroche. The sweet Scottish langoustine and smoked pineapple went hand in hand in terms of flavour combination, it was a really remarkable starter.
Slow-cooked pork belly, homemade black pudding,
Scottish langoustine, smoked pineapple, lardo
Roasted whole Scottish lobster salad,
octopus, watermelon, fennel, black olive purée
Poached halibut, hay baked celeriac, pickled onion,
Granny Smiths apple, truffle beurre blanc

For main I had the poached halibut, again it was nothing shy of quality, the fish was so moist and soft, the baked celeriac and pickled onion offered contrasts of texture, the surprise element of Granny Smiths apple work unexpectedly well with the fish with its very clean sweet and sour taste, all finished off with the truffle beurre blanc. It had so much interesting flavours happening but without overpowering the halibut, in fact it was the finest Halibut I've eaten in London.
French and English farmhouse cheeses with garnish 
Apple mousse, butterscotch,
compressed apple, pine nut purée
Bitter chocolate marquise, mint,
aerated chocolate, mint ice cream

The food at Pavilion turned out to be much better than I expected, largely due to its price with most mains under the £20 mark. The dishes were smartly cooked with a simple and clean presentation, Adam really showcased what he is capable of, the food was easily 1 star level as far as London standards go and I am keen to see what Adam can bring to the table if Pavilion were to give him total control of the menu and let him fully express his creativity, I am pretty sure it will be something really special.

Food 7
Service 6
Ambience 7
Value 7

£75 per head with cocktails

96 Kensington high street, London W8 4SG

Pavilion on Urbanspoon

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