London Eating: Tom Aikens, South Kensington

I was a very lucky bunny last week… I managed to eat out in no less then three of the restaurants I have been dying to try for AGES.

Since I had such wonderful meals in each, I wanted to share the dishes I loved, offer a few tips on when to go and the vibe to expect. Just to be clear these aren’t the sort of cheap eat restaurants I would normally recommend, but something a little more special… ideal for a birthday or special occasion (ahem anniversary.)

Mon: Little House

The week began with a trip to Little House. On a Monday night they have a bang up offer of 50% off all food and DRINK. Unbelievable. The food was amazing, I opted for the Sea Bream with new pots and fennel. It was delicious, if slightly over seasoned but the amazing sides more than made up for it. The place itself is charming, with little cozy booths and a homely feel to it. I think I would be tempted to go every Monday were it not for the unfortunate fact that it is a members club… of which I am not a member… Maybe someday soon.

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Tues: Ceviche

This little soho hotspot has been hard to book for ages! I went there for lunch with my lovely friend Julia (another Cordon Bleu gal) for a late lunch. Around 2-2.30pm is the perfect time to go. Once the lunch rush is over and the restaurant is beginning to clear. The fresh peruvian food, is served as little sharing plates which is perfect for sharing. Since I often get bored with the sameyness of one large meal, so I love this concept. It offers a perfect opportunity for experimenting with lots of different things.

We opted for the:

Salmon Rosado : Skewered grilled salmon pieces in a fiery marinade, served with little cubes of fresh pickled cucumber, a nice warm dish among all the cold plates.

Pulpo al Olive : This was my favourite dish.. Finely sliced octopus with a vibrant purple creamy olive tapenade sauce.

Wasabi Ceviche : aka Sea Bass marinated in a creamy tigermilk sauce with a great kick. This was the richest of the dishes.

Ensalata de Quinoa : a little mountain of white quinoa, butter beans and avocado with a lovely orange fruit (I think it was either mango or passionfruit) coulis

Ensalata de Higo y Queso Fresco : A simple little fig, basil and fresh cheese salad

All the food was delicious. The Pulpo being the particular highlight. I will definitely be going back – I have since heard the drunken scallops are fantastic…If only I had known sooner.

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 Collarless White Shirt  Black long sleeve top

Thurs: Tom Aikens

On thursday I was taken to Tom Aikens’ South Ken restaurant  by Rachel de Thample. The lady behind the Abel & Cole cookbook and the writer of Less Meat, More Veg. Aside from being the first (and almost only) people in the restaurant, the experience was cozy. The interior of the place is not at all what I expected. The absence of starched white tablecloths and white linen of traditional fine dining meant I want checking myself every five minutes, from fear of making a mess. Dark tablecloths and woodwork make it a great place to eat for messy diners.

The chic dark walls and a sexy mood lighting also make it a great date location – Providing you have a bulging pocket to support it. If not check out the lunch menu. Two Michelin starred courses for £28 is amazing. Not to mention the delicious amuse bouche and petit fours that bookend the meal.

Rachel had the set lunch of:  Grouse Sausage, ratte potato purée, parsnip, chanterelle, followed by the Pear pudding. The pear was confied, poached and served with a pine and sorrel emulsion. It was pretty spectacular.

I had the Halibut with salt baked celeriac, chicken wing meat, swimming in truffle butter. (see photo in the top right)

Bliss… What more can be said

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 Check out some of my other restaurant recommendations and reviews…

St John, Evans and Peel Detective AgencyKoya and one of my personal faves. The Shed (Notting Hill)



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