There are times when you visit a restaurant, you end up receiving more than just a culinary surprise. This was very much the case in point on our recent visit to 100 Kensington. It is situated at The Exhibitionist hotel, which is a boutique, luxury venue in South Kensington that also happens to be a modern art lover’s paradise.
There is a stunning bull sculpture guarding the entrance to the restaurant and the wall of the bar has a mesmerising display of rainbow coloured spirits. Even if the food was appalling, visiting 100 Kensington just to observe the stunning artwork is well worth the journey. Thankfully, the world-inspired cuisine is very decent too.
They have a fantastic £40 for two sharing menu where you pick 5 dishes from each section of the menu. We started off with a crunchy, filling broccoli and sweet potato fritter, which came with an appetising coriander chilli yoghurt that just helped to get the gastric juices flowing. Although, given it is a sharing menu, offering 3 fritters is just plain cruelty and a source of conflict with your fellow dinner.
There is overall, a fine selection of vegetable dishes to ensure a balanced diet with the tasting menu. Next, we opted for the roast plum quinoa, goat cheese cream, pistachio and pomegranate. Anything matched with goat cheese cream, instantly makes a dish more likeable and this was no exception.
On paper, a dish like octopus, burnt cauliflower, chorizo, pickled romanesco would be packed with flavours; however, the version here had very muted tastes. Perhaps, the ingredients were not in season?
The main course of lamb rump had much stronger flavours and was cooked to a beautiful pink colour. The green harissa had spicier notes whilst the pickled kohlrabi had an extremely clean taste. What I did have an issue with was the portion size. You have to suspect that they have reduced it for the sharing menu and would not have offered only 5 small pieces of lamb rump if someone had paid the full £16 from the a la carte menu price.
The feast was finished off with an unusual selection of desserts including beignets coconut salted caramel and chocolate ganache stem ginger yoghurt, along with mini-doughnuts. The eclectic flavours from various world cuisines made for a fascinating meal where you are never quite sure of what to expect next.
Make sure to speak with the restaurant manager or hotel manager and ask if you can view the suites in the hotel. The pills floor we visited was uber-hip and belonged more to hipster East London rather than more formal Kensington.