Kitchen Table 27th Visit for New Year’s Eve Dinner — London (12/2019)

For as many times as I’ve dined at Kitchen Table, I had never gone to their New Year’s Eve dinner event.  Normally, I don’t do these kinds of things anyway.  Also, most of the time, I have chosen to be somewhere warmer rather than colder if I’m going to travel anywhere during this time.   But I decided that if I’m ever going to attend a New Year’s Eve dinner event, the place I’m most likely to have a great time would be at Kitchen Table. 

They only have 20 seats, and there’s only one seating, so it can be difficult to secure a spot (I had a little help).  The dinner seating was for 8pm and would end just before midnight (glass of Champagne for the midnight toast included).  The menu required prepayment to secure the booking (excluded service).  Any beverages would be paid for at the conclusion of the evening.

The evening began with a Martinez cocktail for an apéritif upon being seated. It’s part Manhattan and part Martini, comprised of gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and bitters.

The first food offering was presented soon after.  It was a chilled Windsor carrot soup (pure, with no seasoning), served with  force-grown rhubarb granita and purée, sour cream, and fresh carrot and leek oil.  Force-grown rhubarb is raised in a shed with candlelight in Yorkshire. This was a very nice fresh start for the palate.

I did not go for the wine pairings for this dinner,  I chose to start off with a 2015 1ier Cru Chablis.

The first course that we were all served simultaneously was a variation on the signature crispy chicken skin and mascarpone dish.  We were served a waffle, some crispy chicken skins, wild bird liver parfait (pheasant, red-wing partridge, mallard, wood pigeon) , bacon jam, and rosemary mascarpone with thyme.  We were instructed to combine everything together, although I was a bit of a traditionalist and did the waffle with the parfait and the chicken skin with the mascarpone and bacon jam.

The next course combined two elements.  First, Parker House rolls were served with white Alba truffle garlic butter.  We were also served a quail egg with crispy potato, black garlic, balsamic, onion, and chervil.

The next dish was Cornish squid (sliced into thin noodles) cooked gently in coconut oil.  On top was a coconut sauce (made with coconut, lime, and chicken fat) and a serving of English caviar.

The next course featured pan-roasted hand-dive Orkney scallop, Jerusalem artichoke purée, compressed apple, dashi, scallop roe, and juniper sprigs for garnish.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 25th Visit — London (7/2019)


I was looking forward to this visit because they had closed for a month (was supposed to be two) for remodeling.  Turned out they only remodeled the front part (the Bubbledogs part).  So, my visit was overdue in a sense.  Plus, it was the middle of summer, which is prime season for many local ingredients.

They first presented some pure tomato water from Isle of Wight tomatoes garnished with house-made fig leaf oil.  This was served as each guest was seated (i.e., not all at the same time).  This was a nice way to start with something refreshing (other than a drink).

The opening dish was Cornish brown crab, steamed and the brown and white meat separated.  At the bottom was some of the brown meat with crème fraiche.  On top was the white meat mixed with pineapple weed, a salad of dill and lemon verbena, and a garnish of salted gooseberries and cucumber marinated in dill.  At the counter, they finished the dish with a chilled light lemon verbena sauce.

The next bite was lightly smoked quail egg, topped with a shallot filled with black vinegar infused with winter black truffles along with some chervil.  Underneath the egg was black garlic purée, with all of this sitting on a spiral of crispy potatoes.

After starting off with the house-labeled English pink sparkling wine, I switched to a glass of the 2007 Paul Pillot Chardonnay.

The next snack was the chicken skin wafers with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.  While this has always been on the menu, this is the first time I’ve seen it served as a “sandwich”.

The Parker House rolls were next, first shown just out of the oven.  These were served with whipped butter mixed with aged lamb fat and tomatoes barbequed in lamb fat.  The butter was topped with pickled wild garlic buds and onion oil made from green onion tops.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 20th Visit — London (6/2018)


For my 20th visit to Kitchen Table, I had a slightly different experience. Dinner was served as part of a private event. Intead of dining as part of one of two seatings, there was only one seating of 13 people. To accommodate dietary restrictions, there was an ovo-lacto vegetarian menu used in parallel with the planned regular menu when needed. An enhanced wine pairings option was offered. As with a normal dinner experience, we only had a listing of the featured ingredient for each course on the chalkboard as we began.
Although I don’t have any photos of the vegetarian options (since I only had the regular courses), I have provided in brackets the ingredients as described. In some cases, the overall course was the same except for substitutions as needed.

The opening beverage for the first few courses was a champagne: Cédric Bouchard, Roses de Jeanne, ‘Cote de Val Vilaine’ 2015.

The dinner began with a Colchester oyster served raw with an elderflower vinegar glaze and garnished with diced Granny Smith apple, herbs and fresh pink and white elderflowers. The combined tartness/sweetness complemented the freshness of the oyster very nicely. The diced apple provided a good texture contrast.[Elderflower pickled baby carrots, crème fraiche, olive oil, herbs (sorrel, lemon balm, orange flowers, lemon jam]

For the full write up, click here.


Kitchen Table 14th Visit — London (8/2016)


A mid-summer visit to Kitchen Table is always a treat.  And while the food did not disappoint, my pictures on this trip did, as I was experimenting with my camera and did not have time to check on the results through the evening (I was sitting between two food bloggers/Instagramers).  So, this is mostly just to record the meal experience and not so much to appreciate the dishes visually.

They still had the white Rioja, so I went with that for my wine.

The first bite was hand-picked scallop served raw.  On top was some cured and smoked scallop roe.  It was finished a little fresh mayonnaise and pickled ginger.

Next up was the baked crispy chicken skin with mascarpone cheese and bacon jam.  They went back to not uniformly cutting the skin into a standard shape.

The Parker house rolls were served this time with turbot roe that has been cured with salt, smoked and then whipped to a light spread.  On top were some lemon zest, brown butter, and the burnt tops of leeks.  Another roll was offered and taken.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 13th visit — London (5/2016)


Although I had only visited just a couple of months before, there were many menu changes.  I expected that the seasonal changes would bring a variety of ingredients that weren’t available in February. They also changed up their wine list a little, with the addition of a white Rioja, which decided to try (and liked).

The evening started with raw hand-picked diver scallops from Scotland that were placed on top of some sea kelp and garden herbs.  This was dressed with some fresh cream and dill.  It was finished with some fermented, smoked and cured daikon.  The combination was very tasty.

Next up was the potato starch chip with salmon, sour cream chives and brown sugar.

This was followed by the signature crisp chicken skin chip with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam (I guess both may be signature offerings now).

We got a peek at the gull eggs that would be coming up soon in a dish.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 12th Visit — London (2/2016)


Even in mid-winter, I can never predict what will appear on the ingredients list at Kitchen Table.  With the reliance on what’s good from the local purveyors, plus what might have been harvested or preserved from their farm, different ingredients may show up in the dishes for the evening.

We started off with the first bite featuring golden and purple beet root both cooked, with marigold apple, bergamot granita, and wild fennel pollen.  This was earthy but light and tasty.

Next up was the familiar potato starch crisp with smoked salmon, brown sugar and chives.  It was a nice way to ratchet up the flavor and texture intensity from the first dish.

Next up was the signature crispy chicken skin with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.

For this course, the Parker House roll was accompanied by salted and smoked cod roe whipped brown butter and lemon zest.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen table 11th Visit — London (11/2015)


With this being visit #11, one might ask what’s the point of continuing to describe the meals at Kitchen Table. My response would be that even though the ingredients list may not appear to be much different, Chef James is always coming up with new ideas so that there will always be something new to appreciate.  That was certainly the case on this visit.

I started off with a glass of nice French champagne in hand when the small bites started to arrive.  As we did a few weeks ago, we started off again with Cornwall oysters.  The oyster was garnished with grapes, water celery and bergamot granita.  This was even better than last time.

The next two snack favorites were the same as they are always:  the dehydrated puffed potato starch with salmon, crème fraiche, fresh chives and brown sugar; and crispy chicken skin with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.

The next snack was a change from before, although it looked almost the same. I shouldn’t have been surprised that with the prior small bites having some sweetness, this course (which used to be sweet) was savory:  cod roe was salted, cured over hot oak wood and then whipped into a dip.  ON top was some scallop roe that have been lightly cured and smoked as well.  This was finished with a little lemon zest and black pepper.  This made for a nice spread for the Parker House rolls.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 10th Visit — London (10/2015)


I had some business to take care of in London, so I planned a short Halloween visit to England and a Fall visit to Kitchen Table.  Sometimes it can be hard to get a reservation on the weekend, but I planned ahead just enough to be able to grab one.  Below was the ingredient list for the evening’s courses.

I started out with a glass of champagne.  With that, the first bites started to arrive.  First off, we returned to having a shellfish starter.  This was raw oyster (which was actually pretty large) with bergamot, lemon verbena and shaved fennel from their local garden.  This was followed by the rehydrated potato starch quick fried to a nice crispness with smoked salmon, sour cream, chives and brown sugar.  The texture always makes for a nice palate awakener.

Next up was the always-served crispy chicken skin “cracker” with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.  At this point, I switched to a nice Pinot Gris.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 9th Visit — London (8/2015)


A midsummer visit to Kitchen Table always seems to be a treat.  I visit with anticipation that I will see some new flavors with fresh ingredients.  I learned on this visit that they are now drawing from their own garden in Northumbria.  Their gardener sends down a box of whatever is ready for that week, and Chef James thinks of things to do with it all.  The menu for this visit was:

 The first dish had some traditional English flavors with fresh peas from pods with mint oil vinaigrette and an elderflower sorbet made from elderflowers picked in London last year.

Next was fried rehydrated potato starch with smoked cured Scottish salmon, chives, brown sugar and sour cream.  This was nice and crispy, with lots of flavor and texture.

For the full write-up, click here.


Kitchen Table 8th Visit — London (6/2015)


As much as I try to visit Kitchen Table, it would be about 5 months since my last visit.  My stop in London on this overseas trip was a warm up to some serious dining in Copenhagen for the balance of the week.  It was early summer, so I was hoping for at least a taste of summer on the menu, or at least spring.

We started off the meal in a different way this time with Parker House rolls made with pork fat and served with rendered beef fat and honey from champagne grape flowers.  Usually, we have started off with some sort of raw shellfish like oyster or clams.

The next course was the signature crispy chicken skin with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam, which is always tasty with lots of texture.

For the full write-up, click here.