The Kensington Quarter – Earls Court Life
This month we see the arrival of another new neighbour in Earls Court, welcome The Kensington Quarter.
Then Kensington Quarter is the latest edition to the Quarter Group, launched by Doron and Valeria Zilkha in 2006. They’re bringing their neighbourhood homemade food concept to another vibrant corner of London – Earls Court!
Their view being that nothing brings people together more than a great shared drink or meal. The KQ team is led by restaurant manager, Bee Ansari, and food is freshly prepared by head chef Riad Zaik.
Doron and Valeria are inspired by delicious, simple and healthy food, and with the chefs, have created an eclectic menu with a Mediterranean influence – available to eat in or take away. The menu is a modern mix of seasonal comfort food, including healthy breakfasts, sandwiches and wraps, sharing platters, hearty salads, pastas and risottos.
A delicious selection of freshly baked pastries, cakes and bread is also available. From freshly squeezed juices and smoothies bursting with goodness, to wholesome lunches, scrumptious dishes from their a la carte menu and indulgent afternoon teas, there is something for every occasion.
Earls Court, London
Tel: 020 7370 9130
Chingari – Earls Court Life
Chingari, the newest addition to Earls Court’s restaurant set, serves Progressive Indian Food. As strap-lines go this could be construed as somewhat new-age, hipster speak for whatever the current favourite farm-to-table/organic/allotment grown (reared?)/shirataki-not-rice food trend happens to be.
But fear not. Progressive Indian Food simply means there is an emphasis on classical Indian cooking, using a mixture of traditional and fresh, locally sourced, ingredients, to produce combinations of dishes not usually found in western versions of Indian cooking.
And the food is very, very good. Chingari have produced a menu that surprises and delights in equal measure and all without pandering to the perceived pallet of the average British diner.
We began with some spiced potato stuffed aubergine that on the face of it should have tasted like those two things combined, and would have been unremarkable had it not been for the fact that both me and my guest were experiencing a brand new flavour that I can now only describe as ‘my new favourite thing to eat’.
We also tried the Macchi Amritsari which is whiting in a carom and gram flour batter with vine tomato chutney for dipping. Divine.
We shared our main, Makhani Chooze, a chicken tikka simmered in a rich tomato fenugreek sauce finished with cream and a basket of garlic naan and, while still absolutely delicious, this was our only nod to the ‘cheeky curry’.
We finished with a classic Indian dessert recommended to us by a fellow diner who had overheard our outwards ruminations on the benefits of a saffron poached pear verses a duo of brulee.
Food: Siam Secret
Siam Secret is aptly named. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Tucked away behind ornate gates is a tiny alley off Hogarth Place. It is by walking through this little walled garden that you will discover a true Earls Court gem.
Delicious Thai food awaits you here in a low-lit dining room with twinkling candles and starched white table cloths. Everything is just so in the dining room and so too with the presentation of the the food itself.
My starter is Mar Hor, or Galloping Horses, fresh pineapple slices adorned with peanut and minced pork finished off with a razor of chilli for heat. A pad Thai arrives with omelette lace. Try the Siam Secret Beans.
You should also keep in mind as the summer draws near that there is a wonderful roof terrace where you can take in a cocktail or two on a balmy night.5A Hogarth Place London SW5 0QT 020 73704371
The Harwood ArmsThe Harwood Arms Walham Grove, West Brompton, SW6 1QP tel: 0207 386 1847 Monday 5:00–11:00 pm Tues-Thurs & Sun 12:00–11:00 pm Fri-Sat 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
If you’re a West Brompton Foodie, and I am, then you’ll ever delight in the knowledge that some of the most delicious food one could hope to dine on is freshly prepared right on our doorsteps.
The Harwood Arms is an unassuming pub located on the corner of Walham Grove and Tamworth Street and if you weren’t in the know you might just mistake it for your everyday, grab a pint pub. Let me assure you that it isn’t.
The brainchild of Brett Graham of the famed Ledbury restaurant, Mike Robinson of the acclaimed Pot Kiln pub in rural Berkshire and Edwin Vaux from the famous Vaux brewery, The Harwood has gone from strength to strength in its first three years by earning the first and only Michelin star awarded to a London pub.
The food, the food, the food. Oh, my! Try the crispy duck egg with smoked white bacon, artichokes and cobnuts to start, followed by braised neck of Herdwick lamb with rosemary curd, artichokes and garlic. Finish off with a chocolate malt parfait with fruit and nut crumble and hazelnut milk.
Don’t forget to complement your meal with one of the many fantastic wines from an extensive and well thought out list. With over thirty wines served by the glass you are sure to be able to find a partner for each course. I found a 2002 Château Le Bon Pasteur which immediately made this my new favourite restaurant.
The Harwood arms is still a pub though, and if a pub vibe is what you’re going for then why not join them on Quiz Night (check their site for dates) where you can enjoy some premium local ales, delicious bar snacks and, if you’re me, utter humiliation at the hands of the entire British Soap Opera genre. Go team WBL!
Best Tapas – Tendido Cero
To say that Tendido Cero serves the best tapas in Earls Court may well be a little disingenuous because Tendido Cero is the only tapas bar in Earls Court. That said, I put it to you that since Tendido opened it’s restaurant doors four years ago there has been no point in any other tapas bar trying to compete with them. On any level. At all. So, best tapas it is.
It is a combination of things that conspire to make a visit to Tendido so delightful; the crisp white table cloths against the deep maroon walls, the never ending stream of incredibly helpful and knowledgeable Spanish waiters, a wine list to tempt any would be sommelier and of course the food.
If you play it safe, have some padron peppers, a cheese and charcuterie board, some chorizo, croquettes and the like, you will come away suitably sated but probably still eye up the menu for round two of los nuevos patatas bravas; hollowed out tubes of potatoes filled with traditional spicy sauce and topped with a dollop of aioli. Heaven.
If you close your eyes and dive into the menu like a full on foodie you are going to have a fantastic meal. You’ll need a plate of Aubergine chips with home made rosemary honey. And, while you’re at it, an order of Crunchy Arzua cheese with sweet tomato marmalade wouldn’t go a miss. The oven baked asparagus with romescu sauce and the marinated quail are to die for. If you can squeeze in more, order the baby eels cooked in olive oil, garlic and chilli. Simple and delicious.
Finish off with an order of Churros con Chocolate. Roll home.Tendido Cero 174 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, SW5 0BA 020 7370 3685 Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12N-3.30 6.30-11pm