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17 April 2014

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Tom Aikens on the new Tom's Kitchen at Somerset House

(menu)

Tom Aikens - TomAikens.jpgTeaming up with contract caterers Compass Group, Tom Aikens has finally opened a second site of Tom's Kitchen, at Somerset House. Hours before its launch, we managed to catch up with the Michelin-starred chef for a quick Q&A.

Why did you choose Somerset House for a second Tom's Kitchen site?

Because it’s such an iconic building that a vast majority of Londoners instantly recognise and is a must-see for tourists.

How different will the new site be from the Chelsea original?

The menu is exactly the same in the main restaurant at Tom's Kitchen in Somerset house as in Chelsea. The main difference between the sites is in the terrace restaurant, which is behind Somerset house, where  we are offering dishes in the same style, but cooked on a barbecue. Then there is Tom’s Deli, which is open from 8am till 5pm. We are offering breakfast deli foods till 11am, after which the selection swaps over to bowl salads, grab-and-go pots like poached salmon with watercress and gem salad, plus an assortment of sandwiches and desserts.

It's taken a while to find a site for a second Tom's Kitchen, with reports that you previously shelved plans for a Canary Wharf branch. Why the delay?

There was not a delay, it was waiting for the right site to come along, which Somerset House is; in fact it’s perfect.

Would you ever consider opening a third Tom's Kitchen?

I think it’s a matter of wait and see.

Going on what the newspapers say, it seems to have been a tricky 18 months for you. Is it nice to be back opening restaurants again?

That depends on what you have read in the papers. There is always a lot of fiction, and not much fact. It's been great opening at Somerset House, particularly in partnership with Compass who are great to work with. They are brilliant at the logistical and operational side of the restaurant.

Tom's Kitchen, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, 020 7845 464. To read more about the restaurant, click here.

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