33 Roland Gardens,
A few weeks back we were invited to Blakes Restaurant. If you’re unfamiliar with this destination, it’s within a boutique hotel discreetly located in Kensington.
The hotel is the love-child of legendary designer Anouska Hempel. Converted from a set of Victorian houses, the five star hotel is renowned for its inspirational design, chic-sophistication and quality of service.
During our tour of the hotel our host told us how the venue is frequently visited by musicians, film stars and designers and ‘if walls could talk…’ but before we got too carried away I remembered we were there to review the restaurant.
The ground floor restaurant, which seats 60 covers (72 if you count its very own Secret Courtyard). It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were there for dinner and upon entry it’s clear to see that the venue is both chic and intimate.
The menu is designed and curated by Head Chef Peter del Campo and Mariano Russo who have taken a back-to-basics approach and modelled a menu that’s inspired by Anouska Hempel’s travelling spiring – ‘a beautiful old fashioned steamer sailing up the Bosphorus.’
What that means is a variety of Mediterranean favourites boasting simple, seasonal ingredients. Highlights include smoked Aubergine Agnolotti with Confit Tomatoes & Mediterranean Herbs, and Chargrilled Octopus with Tomato Relish, Purple Potato and Lime.
Sitting alongside the new Mediterranean additions to the menu are a handful of Asian-fusion dishes that include Black Cod with Courgette Flower and Miso, and a Seared Tuna Loin served with Ponzu, Green Tea Noodles and Dark Miso.
My personal recommendation from the dishes we sampled would be either the English Suffolk Lamb Rack Crushed Peas, Mint & Veal Jus with the Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Mousse for dessert.
As you’d expect an expert sommelier is on hand to guide you through the wine list and suggest appropriate pairings. I was rightfully overruled with one of my selections.
Blakes is an intimate hidden-gem and gets a five star review from us.