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Kettner’s – Soho

Kettner’s in Soho dates back to 1867, when Auguste Kettner (chef to Napoleon III) created his restaurant from four Georgian town houses.

Entering through the main doors in to the hallway, it feels – even today – like stepping into someone’s rather grand home with a sweeping staircase before you (leading up to first floor function rooms), a door to the left through to the bar room, or another doorway to the right leading into the main dining rooms.

Passing the pianist playing a white grand piano, it’s easy to imagine the high society of a bygone age hanging out here.

Glamorous style

What makes it especially appealing is that, while the style is glamorous, it’s slightly shabby round the edges. In a good way. The beautiful parquet flooring is well worn and the marble table-tops look like they could tell a story or two. It looks and feels lived in, and is instantly comfortable (further helped by the abundance of waiting staff who all acknowledged me as I was taken through to our table).


IMG_0793_grilled goats cheese starter
Grilled Crottin goats cheese topped with parsley

IMG_0796b_beef carpaccio starter
Beef carpaccio

For starters, S had grilled goats cheese with a parsley topping and salad @ £7.95, while I had Scotch beef carpaccio with truffle mayonnaise, capers, shallots, rocket, and Parmesan @ £10.50 (I loved the variety of little extra flavours, especially tangy capers).


IMG_0800b_tuna steak
Seared tuna steak salad – generous portion

Chicken with wild rice

Sticking with my preference for raw foods on this particular evening, I homed in on the seared yellow fin tuna (lovely chilli and aniseed flavours in the searing crumb) with green beans, new potato, egg and anchovies @ £13.95 for main course (a generous portion) while S had corn-fed chicken with wild rice, garlic, and a tarragon cream sauce @ £16.50.


Mango + passion fruit pavlova

IMG_0804_creme brulee
Kettner’s classic crème brûlée

We’d enjoyed our first two courses so much, it would’ve been a shame not to check out Kettner’s puddings too. So S had a mango and passion fruit pavlova @ £6.50 and I had a crème brûlée (divine) @ £6.00.

Sample menu – Oct 2014

Kettner's sample menu - Feb 2015
Sample menu – Feb 2015

Kettner’s offers a pre and post theatre menu – two courses @ £18.50 or three courses @ £21.50. Or, if ordering from the a la carte menu (as we were) Tastecard is accepted – 50% off food for up to four people but you must book in advance (no weekends) [as of 2015, Tastecard is no longer accepted]. Our total bill for a three course dinner for two including a half litre of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc @ £16.95 with a Tastecard discount, came to £62.00 (which includes a 12.5% service charge). Great value.

The verdict: smart old brasserie but there’s nothing pretentious or twee about it. Nicely informal, impeccable service and great French-inspired food.

More of the menu

IMG_1466b_Goats cheese and beetroot starter at Kettners
Baked goat’s cheese with beetroot marmalade

IMG_1468b_pork belly at Kettners
Crispy pork belly, braised red cabbage, celeriac puree, calvados jus @ £18.50

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: French, international,
~ Address: 29 Romilly Street, Soho, London
~ Postcode: W1D 5HP
~ Tel: 020 7734 6112
~ Nearest station: Leicester Square
~ Website + menus: Kettner’s website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Kettner’s food
~ Location: Kettner’s map

More Soho dining:
~ Andrew Edmunds
~ Asia de Cuba
~ Cây Tre
~ Criterion

Kettner's on Urbanspoon


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