Chic British cuisine at Richard Branson's sky-high restaurant
Where? 99 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA (0207 368 3993, www.roofgardens.virgin.com)
What’s the vibe? Perched a-top Richard Branson’s stunning Kensington Roof Gardens, this chic modern eatery soars one hundred feet above the high street, offering some of the most spectacular views across London. In the summer months, the long narrow dining room opens out onto a terrace, but for the piece de resistance creep one floor down to the famous sprawling gardens and enjoy cocktails until the sun sets.
Can we expect a sophisticated menu? Think contemporary but classic British food – the menu was littered with familiar dishes that have been given subtle modern twists. I plumped for Cornish Crab Ravioli with perigord truffle to start and followed with Braised Lamb Belly on a bed of mashed potato and buttered savoy cabbage. My guestwas more daring, opting for the Quail and Black pudding, served with Madeira cream, sherry jelly, baby spinach and red amaranth cress.
The verdict? The food absolutely delivered to expectation and the compact portions were apt because the dishes were rich. Using local and seasonal ingredients, the chef’s menu is constantly evolving, so each time you come back you can expect something different.
Was there room for dessert? Of course! The sweets menu was particularly impressive, ranging through Banana Tart Tatin to Mango mousse to Sea Salt Caramel Parfait. The Clementine Cheesecake, served with orange sorbet and almond tuille, was our favourite.
Anything else worthy of a mention? We loved the buzzy atmosphere and live jazz music. The quality of the food is reflected in the prices and on a week night, three courses from the a la carte menu will set you back around £50 (check out the website for weekend lunch time offers that are recession-tastic). Our top tip? Go in the summer, when dining is al fresco and there’s a BBQ and bar with fresh shellfish.