Established by August Kettner, reputedly chef to Napoleon III, in 1867, Kettner’s is a Grade II-listed hotel and restaurant, with a menu "inspired by its past" and using locally sourced ingredients. The décor retains many original features, and an art collection apparently inspired by the building’s risqué reputation. Part of Soho House Group since January 2018.
The first thing you notice is the unusual wall mountings, featuring, erm, corsets with humorous slogans. The atmosphere that combines the sophistication and high standards you would expect with quirky Soho touches in art deco surroundings. It’s not overly formal, typified by the smart casual attire of fellow diners and a pianist in the Champagne Bar playing modern tunes. Service is prompt and, while the restaurant is fairly empty at 12.30pm, it gets busier over the course of the meal.
A meal for two with starters, mains and wine set us back about £110. It’s pretty good value.
Kettner’s omelette, with smoked eel, bacon and green salad, for £14.
Dining experience ****
My starter of beetroot tarte was fresh and wholesome. The main, of roast monkfish with spinach velouté, was an enjoyable but quite intense experience; possibly a bit overpowering for the ‘casual’ fish-lover. My companion said his hispi cabbage with lentils and almonds was salty but delicious. His starter of tomato soup was perfectly good.
Chance of a last-minute booking ***
Probably good in the day, but evening is likely to be busier, so book.
Client wow factor ****
A stylish, quintessentially London experience for overseas clients.
An upmarket dining experience with a Soho twist.
Kettner's Townhouse, 29 Romilly Street, London W1D 5HP
020 7734 5650
Reviewed by Anita Gryson, associate director, Relevance International