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Mar 24, 2011 07:42 AM

Staying in Kensington. Where would you go for dinner? [London]

Yes, it is true, we want it all! Fish and chips to great food. Any recommendations?

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  1. Where in Kensington please, it's a big area? Walk or Taxi?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robin Joy

      Thanks Robin, near the Victoria and Albert. We are walkers! We were thinking of Racines and L'Anima for dinners, but we don't have to go to either! The Mister is standing over my shoulder saying I could eat fish and chips, indian, anything. He's a good Mister.

      1. re: t14072

        From that location the world is your lobster!

        15 minutes walk SW gets you to the Bombay Brasserie or the Noor Jahan (my personal fave). Two different styles of "Indian", both with merits.

        Within 1 mile nice stroll E are Scalini and Zafferano. Or Ishbilia for excellent Lebanese. Also many good spots in Beauchamp Place, just short of Harrods from you.

        10 minutes S is La Bouchee for relaxed French.

        All of these are easily Googled.

        Bombay Brasserie
        140 Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH, GB

        Zafferano Restaurant
        15 Lowndes Street, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9EY, GB

        1. re: Robin Joy

          noor jahan is emphatically not indian - its bangladeshi curry gloop - but the brasserie is the real, if uninspired, thing. what is excellent at the brasserie is the weekend buffet, not to be missed.

          maroush on beauchamp is good-to-excellent lebanese, but a short walk to ishbilya in williams street brings you to an wonderful lebanese restaurant. theres brindisa for tapas opposite the south ken tube station, launceston place for lunch which must be one of the biggest bargains in london for modern british cooking, min jiang for duck, mohsen for iranian, daquise for polish, bistro chabrot for french, pies from o'sheas the butcher, wine and cheese next door, .... so many places!

          1. re: howler

            I thought you might say that about NJ! And my " marks were there for a reason.....Buy hey, I like going there.

            Our visitors will have no problems finding good places near where they are staying.

    2. It doesn't matter where one stays in London. It's so easy to get around that you should try places all over the city. Don't be restricted by staying in Kensington. Go to Master's Superfish for the best fish and chips. Some places have good fish but not the combination. Don't expect ambiance - just a good meal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        Definitely second zuriga1's advice on moving around London in search of good chow.

        1. re: klyeoh

          Thinking back about this, I remember thinking when a tourist myself, that we should eat dinner near our hotel. I think this is because most visitors are out all day, come back to relax and maybe change clothes and they don't want to schlep far again for dinner. But I still think London is easily navigated and worth the effort.


        this place (chabrot bistrot d'amis) has been getting very good reviews across the board and is in knightsbridge, which is walkable from where you are staying.

        2 Replies
        1. re: medgirl

          Yes, Chabrot is lovely, top tip. Cassis on Brompton Road also had a good write up by Giles Coren yesterday, and here:

          1. re: helen b

            And you can also try (I used to work in what was Bowater House and now the crazy One Hyde Park flats) Sal e Pepe, Montpelliano and Signor Sassi for decent Italians, and Amaya for GREAT Indian-ish (don't jump in Howler!) grills, trendy and fun vibe.

        2. For trad Brit, try Maggie Jones's:

          Maggie Jones's
          6 Old Ct Pl, Kensington, Greater London W8 4, GB

          3 Replies
          1. re: klyeoh

            Can someone explain to me the 'discretionary 12.5% service charge'? Is that the 'tip' or do you leave a bit more?

            1. re: t14072

              It used to be that tips in the UK were about 10% (very different than the U.S.). Many restaurants now add on 12.5%, but it's legal to not accept their charge if one feels they had horrible service. Lots of people round up a bit, but it's not necessary or probably expected.

              It's the same 10%, btw, on average for cabs and other like service tips.

              1. re: zuriga1

                How about straying into High St Kensington territory and trying out Kitchen W8 in Abingdon Road?

                Re the tip - 12.5% seems to have crept in and become the norm (used to be 10%). Nobody in the UK should ever pay this service charge unless they believe that the staff deserve it. It is not compulsory (yes I have been chased after leaving without paying it which left the waiter sobbing that the manager would fire him which made me wonder why he wanted to work there) and is absolutely at the diner's discretion. Having said all that, how many times have you eaten somewhere and really felt that they deserved nothing because the service had been so bad.

                So legally, you don't have to leave anything, and if you feel that 12.5% is a bit steep or not quite deserved you can change it - you can even change it upwards if you've had a fantastic time?!