11-13 Abingdon Rd
Date of Last Visit: Friday, November 27th, 2009
The Victims: Craig, Leanne
The Damage: £35 each
The Background: I'm heading to Cardiff. With a bunch of Australians. For the rugby. Australia-Wales. Craig and Leanne have rented a car so we're leaving first thing Saturday morning. They invite me to spend the night at their super-gorgeous flat on the other side of town–Westbourne Park–and we make plans to have dinner the night before. My choice.
I choose Kitchen W8. Because it's new. And because sometimes, you read stuff. Like here. And here. And here. And sometimes, I wonder…how is it that we all have different views on the same thing? See, I went to Catholic school my entire life…grade school, high school, university. It was a lot of sameness. Looks. Clothing. Prayers. Thoughts.
But then I went to business school. And there was a lot of differentness.
Who were these people, I thought, and why hadn't I met them sooner?
Sometimes, us here in the food blogging community get slagged off because we all write about the same things. I, in fact, have slagged this very topic. (Sorry, "slag" (v. NOT n.) is new favorite word.) Yes, I am very inconsistent. Don't listen to anything I say. Really.
But you must remember that I'm also kinda into math. And new restaurants…well, it's somewhat of a numbers game. X many new openings. Y food bloggers (Y > X). Probability of Y – N food bloggers visting New Restaurant Z = Very High.
The Entrance: We're a little late, but they don't hold this against us. But then I see our table, and it's sort of in the bar/waiting area. There are three other reservable tables in this area, but then there's a general "sit here and drink your drink til your table is ready" six-top. I feel like I'm at the kids' table at Thanksgiving. Just a little. Off in the back are all the "real" tables. But I get over myself quite quickly.
The Little Freebies: Cod-y fried puffs of deliciousness. I could have had more of these. Really. Delicious!
The Main: Craig and I had the special of the day…the venison. And you know what? I thought it was pretty gorgeous. It turned out to be smoked venison and the two of us kept looking at each other, saying, "This is really nice, this smokiness." This was served on a bed of spinach which was neither here nor there…not bad, but not oustandingly good. Just nice. Really, the venison was pretty super.
The Funny Bit: This guy stopped by the table to pour the wine and I bursted out with, "Wait a second…I fell like I know you from somewhere!" He was the lovely sommelier from Hibiscus back in 2007. And funnily, he looked at me and said, "I'm glad you said that because as soon as you walked in, I knew I knew you and checked the name on the booking"
The Service: Sweet and enthusiastic. But I'll note four main things:
- When they described the cod fish puffs, I had no idea what they were saying.
- And at one point, they delivered our mains, while we all looked at them in a confused fashion…these weren't the mains we ordered. The staff very politely swept the dishes away and then put them on the table behind us. I kinda thought that was just a little weird. The dish was in front of me for at least a full minute before they figured out that they had served us incorrectly. I wouldn't have wanted to be on the final receiving end of those dishes.
- It took a pretty long while for us to get our mains. Venison was worth the wait however.
- When we asked why the venison was so smoky, the answer was, "Because it's smoked." Um, thanks.
The Dessert: Lemon tart! My favorite! I have a photo of it, but it was after I had already dipped into the ice cream, and you don't want to see that. But it was pretty darn nice.
The Verdict: If K&A were still here–they used to live right down the road–I imagine I'd go here all the time. But they've left me for somewhere in Connecticut. Still sad.
The Question I'm Dying to Ask: Where do you go when you're in Notting Hill and South Kensington?