As it is Christmas it was time for a treat to Mr Smith. I had tried to get booked in to The Kitchen Table, near to Goodge Street station, for a night with my ‘Mrs Smith’ but we could not get in on the dates we were available. I did go on the wait list in case and had an email a few days before what was our planned night out, but by that point we had already made others plans.
However, all was not lost, they had a table the night before available for 1. So I thought why not get myself that 1 seat and have an early Christmas present, I was not disappointed.
When I arrived I was not sure where to go. I knew that it was part of Bubbledogs, but did not know if it had a separate entrance or not. I could not see one so assumed it is inside somewhere. There was a queue to get in to Bubbledogs and I did the very British thing of joining the back of it. This is before remembering I had a reservation, so I skipped the queue and after a few minutes wait in Bubbledogs, note to self to go there, I was taken through the curtain to The Kitchen Table.
Basically, it is what it says it is. One horseshoe table around the kitchen. The way they do the sittings is to get the first half in for around 6 and then the second half at 7.30. I was in the second half and most of the guests were already there. Maximum of 19 seats.
I was given a bar stool in between a couple and 3 Australian women.
At this point I was not feeling the most sociable as was completely exhausted from work so was quite happy to sit and just and take in the atmosphere and watch the chefs, but later on I would wake up a bit and chat to the couple. The Aussies were on a long catch up session so would not have got a word in so left them to it.
There is no menu as such, just a list on the chalk board of the items that were for dinner. On counting them up there were 15. So the only decision was what to drink and for me there is only one option with that sort of meal and that is the matched flight of drinks. The way the drinks go with food is very important and getting one or 2 drinks to go with that lot is impossible. The drinks were a bit of a mix of things, not just wine, and were designed to go across a couple of courses, so not 15 drinks in total.
Firstly, apologies for the quality of some of the pictures, the lighting is never good in restaurants, but I wanted to capture everything. Also my descriptions might not be spot on as I was trying to jot them down on the phone, whilst listening and eating, but think they are about right.
I love places where the chefs serve the dishes to you and tell you about the food, such a good way to interact and especially when dining alone I find it a good way to spend the evening as you get the interaction with people and also learn more about food.
I was asked by the the Maitre d’ whether I was a chef or not. I would guess as I was taking pictures and things, but as you know I am definitely not one of those, just an eater. Does make a change though as normally asked whether or not I am a critic or reviewer
When James, the head chef, served one of the dishes we had a brief chat and he thought that I had been to the restaurant before, but sadly not. But all evening I was convinced I recognised him from somewhere, but was not sure where. Could it have been on the TV? No, I did not think so, so for a lot of the evening I was trying to think where it could have been from. In the end I guessed that it may have been from when I went to Noma in 2009, but was not sure. A bit of googling after did show that James had worked there and I think around the time I was in Noma, so that could have been it. if he recognised me from then he has a very good memory, or more to the point I probably just looked like someone else
Another surprise that evening was the Vacherin being served with Sake which was at room temperature. Definitely worked together and helped continue the overall exploration of the taste buds
After all that 3 1/2 hours had flown by and it was gone 11 and the sudden realisation that I had work first thing the next day, so it was time to say goodbye to all the staff and pay the bill.
Would I go again, yes without a shadow of doubt. Before I do though I think it will be Bubbledogs next time, but my ‘Mrs Smith’ could be tempted as she has had her eyes opened to tasting menus, but that is the next adventure in my foodie week