Spring has sprung at Tom’s Kitchen. Leanne Kelsall discovers the new menu at the flagship in Chelsea
Owned by world-renowned chef, author and all round good guy Tom Aikens, Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea is one of his four London restaurants. Aikens became the youngest ever British chef to be awarded two Michelin stars at the age of 26 and has since enjoyed an impressive career, including time at David Cavalier’s in Battersea, Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire and Pied-à-Terre.
The Tom’s Kitchen concept is about making the most of all four seasons, working with British farmers to source the finest ingredients. They serve comforting foodie favourites in a contemporary canteen-style setting, seven days a week.
We headed down to the Chelsea flagship – first opened 10 years ago – to try out the new spring menu.
As we arrived at Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea, the buzzing atmosphere and jolly welcome from our waiter, was a warm retreat from the pouring rain outside. Interiors are simple and relaxed – white ceramics, wooden furniture and a big open-air kitchen.
Our fellow diners – first-daters, families, friends and co-workers – were enjoying a fuss-free evening meal, chatting and laughing with a drink in hand. Laid-back luxury is the name of the game.
With sharing dishes, grilled meats, salads and mains, the menu has plenty to tempt you. It was a tricky choice, aided least by the arrival of our waiter armed with the seven-hour sharing Confit Herdwick Lamb for our neighbours. But before we’d finished deciding, a warm basil loaf was laid beneath our noses. It smelt like heaven, was delightfully light and soft, and even tastier with lashings of butter. I don’t tend to talk about the bread in a restaurant review but this one is worth the words.
I chose a spring speciality to start – asparagus with sliced pheasant egg (£12). The asparagus was perfectly cooked and complimented by the runny egg yolk and rich truffle dressing.
For my main, I opted for the Pan Fried Cornish River Trout (£19). The fish flaked away from my fork and the caper and raisin dressing was refreshingly different.
My guest ordered a British classic, the Shepherd’s Pie (£19), on its return to the menu after 10 years. It had a rich, hearty aroma and was nostalgic with it’s delicately piped potato top with steamed greens side dish.
Dessert came in the form of the Caramel and Popcorn Sundae to share (£12). Our waiter informed us that it’s favourite of Aikens himself. Our eyes widened as a large vessel arrived, filled with creamy vanilla ice cream, popping candy popcorn and large chunks of chewy caramel. Every layer was heavenly.
The Chocolate Millionaire Shortbread (£8) also caught our attention, with its lime, meringue and salted caramel combination. The flavours and textures worked together to create mouthful after mouthful of sheer joy – the richness of the dark chocolate, the tanginess of the lime, the crunch of the meringue.
For faultless feel-good grub that’ll remind you of home, Tom’s Kitchen is the place to go.
Tom’s Kitchen – Where and How?
Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea is located at 27 Cale Street, London, SW3 3QP, United Kingdom. For more information or to make a booking, email [email protected] or call 020 7349 0202.
By Leanne Kelsall
See more from the Tom’s Kitchen Spring Menu in the gallery below