This Restaurant Has Been Keeping Soho Decadent For Centuries
Kettner's Townhouse wouldn't do anything so gauche as coming back with a bang. Instead the Soho institution is back with an elegant, velvet-clad swish — reopening its doors this year after being acquired and revamped by Soho House.
The decor is a mix of eras, the common thread being a glossy but welcoming splendour, everything upholstered in textures you want to touch or polished to a high shine, nearly every flat surface either bearing or dangling a beautiful lamp of some kind.
Sunday lunch at Kettner's is on fittingly grand lines: a three course set menu, heavy with silver napkin rings, Art Deco-echoing glassware and grade II-listed glamour. To compound that Ritz-circa-1920s feel, main courses are served up from ornate trolleys in the centre of the room, long tranches of Beef Wellington resting patiently under silver cloches.
The Wellington's statuesque enough — a heroic slab, vividly pink and cased in an earthily mushroomy layer. Vegetables are buttery-soft, mash is buttery-smooth. The pastry sucks up phenomenal amounts of gravy and keeps getting better for it. But it's the dishes bookending it that really remind us we're dining in the no-decadence-spared footsteps of Churchill and Wilde. Plates of canapés pile up around us, each of them intense, small bites of parmesan-and-paprika-dusted pastry, or oniony rich tart. Starters of sea bream, clementine and basil are slippery, sweet and sharp. And dessert — a scoop of grapefruit sorbet, fizzing gently in a coupe of Ruinart champagne — is thoroughly louche and improbably elegant at the same time. Not unlike Kettner's itself.
The Sunday lunch menu at Kettner's Townhouse is £30 for 3 courses. Kettner's Townhouse, 29 Romilly Street, W1D 5HP.
Last Updated 29 June 2018