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|Address:||Broadgate Quarter, 88 Worship Street, London EC2A 2BE|
|Tel:||020 3544 6871|
|Price: £62.00||Wine: £29.00||Champagne: £76.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6-9.45pm|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Alarm bells should have started ringing when I had to give my credit card details at the time of booking with a notice that there was a non-refundable fee of £80 per person if the table was cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, which is precisely when unforeseen events might occur which necessitates a last minute cancellation.
The restaurant is somewhat hard to find on a backstreet behind Liverpool Street. The area might well be busy during the working week, but it was like a ghost town on a Saturday night. Make a note of the address as the restaurant is housed in a nondescript building with only a small plaque at the door to announce where it is.
The restaurant itself is less impressive than the photographs on the website suggest; I was expecting a grander room but its surprisingly small, sterile and cold, and while a large centrepiece table occupies the centre of the restaurant for staff to put the finishing touches to dishes, diners are sat on tables which are too close to each other in a minimalist room of bland greys and browns.
Service was off from the start. Our wine arrived before our pre-prandial G&Ts. The waiter then introduced the one and only choice for dinner: the 15 course tasting menu. I had read reviews about the restaurant before and I had thought they had abandoned this as the only choice following criticism from restaurant critics and diners alike at the arrogance of being presented with a single choice but no, the recently awarded Michelin star has no doubt emboldened them and you are faced with no other choice than the tasting menu.
What followed in terms of the food was good but not that good and certainly not the gourmet taste experience we were expecting or hoping for. A succession of 15 bites, because that's all they are, some good, a few very good, but too many of which were really quite unexceptional. The best were often the simplest, too many were trying to be too clever and had too much going on. I would have much preferred fewer dishes with larger portions.
At the start of each course our waiter would mumble something as if to introduce the dish, and after asking him to repeat himself too many times, we feigned interest but eventually switched off and left to our own devices tried to work out what we had been presented with.
We lost count of the number of courses we'd had and hoping to be near the end asked the waiter how many we had to go. We were somewhat taken aback to discover that we had 7 courses left, or at least that’s what I think he said, but asking him again he confirmed that yes, we were only half way through.
Ensure you make an early booking. We sat down to eat at 7.45 and didn’t finish until after 11pm and if you do go, and I'd strongly recommend you spent your money somewhere else, be sure to hold on to your glasses. The wine waiter sweeps vulture-like upon your table to pick off glasses before they were finished without asking, and then is gone. Remarkable, particularly given the cost of wine here.
We were relieved to finish but staggered at the price. It really would have been polite to tell us that the tasting menu costs £95 per person before we had begun. With a few drinks and a “discretionary service charge of 13%” dinner came in at a little less than £300 for two people.
London has many Michelin starred restaurants where you can enjoy truly fine food with excellent service and a wonderful ambience to create the perfect dining experience. HKK falls far short in all areas.
On leaving you are presented with a menu, which would of course have been more helpful during the course of the meal. A memento of a disappointing meal.