Pufferfish is a Polynesian-themed restaurant based in Mahiki Kensington serving a variety of pan-Asian delicacies. Jamie Ndah went along to sample the current menu.
The founders of the iconic Mahiki based in Dover Street, Mayfair, have joined forces with the creators of South Kensington private members’ club Albert’s to launch the eagerly anticipated Mahiki Kensington. I was certainly looking forward to experiencing all that Pufferfish, their destination restaurant, had to offer.
Mahiki Kensington is situated a short walk from High Street Kensington tube station and is nestled amongst upmarket retail shops, restaurants, coffee shops and patisseries. It’s one of West London’s prime locations and a renowned playground for a discerning and affluent crowd.
My guest and I were impressed with the warm greeting we received at Pufferfish and were kindly shown to our table. The restaurant caters for 75 covers and the stylish Tiki decor certainly sets the right tone and mood. As I walked through the dimly lit venue, I was met with a burst of rich, energetic colours adorning the lounge bar area, with cool bamboo themed furniture throughout and palm-tree wallpaper. Wicker hanging baskets made for a calm and relaxed setting.
The dining area offers a number of snug booths making it a perfect spot for couples, however, larger groups are also welcomed. For those guests seeking a more intimate setting, there are private rooms available that cater for 25 people for that all exclusive experience. Our waitress for the evening was Rosella who was very personable and knowledgeable with regards to the variety of dishes on offer, and she kindly guided my guest and I through the inviting menu options.
My dining partner and I perused the cocktail menu which had a fun and varied selection of drinks to choose from. There are great names on the menu too such as Hurricane Hunter, The Night Rattler and Deadbeat Daiquiri to name but a few. My guest went for a Papa Nui Nui cocktail which consisted of Yaguara cachaça blended with homemade papaya syrup, fresh orange and lime, which by all accounts, tasted heavenly. I opted for a delightful Piña colada made up of a dreamy coconut cream and freshly pressed pineapple which was so refreshing.
Rosella had returned to our table with the first of our starter dishes, a beautifully presented Akame tuna tartare with avocado, chives and lemon soy dressing. I really enjoyed this plate for its taste, simplicity and festival of flavours. The avocado and tuna combination mixed seamlessly with the lemon juice and ginger and it didn’t overpower the capers and chives, which popped effortlessly on my palate.