Words Helen Brown
Situated on the first floor of the uber quirky Exhibitionist Hotel is the latest venture from the team behind 100 Hoxton and 100 Islington. Owner Andrew Zilouf and ex-Ottolenghi head chef Francis Puyat have joined forces to create a unique menu for 100 Kensington, which opened its doors earlier in the spring. With it’s distressed wooden floors, whitewash walls, antique furniture and kooky artwork the interiors are a feast for the design-keen eyes. The bar – with its vibrantly coloured jars of eau de vie on display – is a design feature in itself.
At a purse-friendly £40 between two, you can’t go wrong with the sharing menu. This includes a selection of five dishes from the a la carte menu and is the ideal way to get a feel for the asian-fusion menu.
We begin with broccoli and sweet potato fritters. They have a soft centre, are incredibly moorish and go perfectly with the fragrant coriander and chilli yoghurt. The roast plum with quinoa, goat cheese, pistachio and pomegranate arrives at the same time. Grain based dishes can often be disappointing; an unending mound of flavourless forkful after flavourless forkful. However, both my friend and I decide this to be a favourite of the five. Blistered plums bring a succulent sweetness to the dish and offset the tangy goat cheese brilliantly. Pistachio and pomegranate add a satisfying crunch.We go for the octopus – cooked well, however the burnt cauliflower got lost on the plate – and lamb rump for mains. The lamb arrives vibrantly pink in the middle with green harissa, pickled kohlrabi and aubergine. The dish tastes good, however the addition of new potatoes seems slightly confused. Perhaps a fusion too far? The cooking of the lamb certainly gives the dish its brownie points nonetheless.
Desserts are short and sweet. They include beignets with coconut and salted caramel ice cream and whiskey chocolate ganache with chocolate sauce and pistachio. Both work extremely well to satiate an after-dinner sweet tooth. As do the espresso martinis we order to round the whole thing off. We leave pleasantly satisfied and not too full to traipse to the fourth floor of the hotel where Mr Doodle has decorated the entire corridor.