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29 Romilly Street
Famous as the restaurant founded in 1867 by Auguste Kettner, the private chef of Emperor Napoleon III (Bonaparte’s nephew), and as the location of interval-time trysts between King Edward VII and Lillie Langtry, Kettner’s has been given the ‘Townhouse’ treatment by new owner Soho House. As at Dean Street Townhouse, there are now 30 or so bedrooms upstairs, while the downstairs restaurant and Champagne Bar have both been spruced up, and a fabulous Piano Bar added for good measure. The bars, in particular, look lovely, all low lighting and marble surfaces and conveying something of the metropolitan élan and exclusivity of the Soho House members’ clubs. The dining room, in contrast, feels rather provincial, an effect enhanced by the fussy plaster mouldings (original, and Grade II-listed) and a French-inspired menu that seems self-consciously special occasion but fails to rise to the occasion. Small plates and starters were the best bits: cheesy gougères, comforting French onion tart and bracingly wintry crab with celeriac remoulade and russet apple. Mains were far less assured: roast Banham chicken tasted only of truffle not chook and omelette Arnold Bennett was a very limp imitation of the Savoy classic. Breakfast (lobster royale) and pre/post-theatre (any three courses for £22) may be better bets, or eat small plates instead in the bars, with two dozen wines by the glass and beautifully served classic cocktails.
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Pre and post-theatre dining
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29 Romilly Street
020 7734 6112
Leicester Square Tube Station 233m
Tottenham Court Road Tube Station 306m
Curzon Soho 31m
Old Compton Street 37m
Mon-Sat 7am-1am (Sat 8am- ) Sun 8am-12M
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Kettner's was one of the restaurants recommended on the Palace Theatre website; we were attending the Commitments show there, and it is right behind the theatre. We arrived just before 6pm, had a choice of seating and the service was attentive and efficient (thanks to Israel the Brazilian waiter).
We eschewed the pre-theatre offering, rather limited at 3 choices each course, and went a la carte; fresh duck salad and a crab starter were followed by delicious tender venison with a cocoa sauce (I ordered more of that) and a roast halibut. A side of carrots were quite dry and unbuttered (so ordered some butter).
A variety of wines by the glass in the £7-8 range and a bottle of sparkling water brought the bill to just over £100 before service. pretty respectable for the quality of food and the ability to get us out within 1 hour and 15 mins.
The room filled up pretty fast, and was quite noisy, with 2 large groups of celebrating ladies; but we got a window table and it was fine.
Food + drink: 2
Visited Kettners following recommendation from friends.Very busy restaurant ,obviously popular, we were therefore excited about our visit. Nice atmosphere, friendly staff. there the good things stopped. We chose the pre-theatre dinner menu. Choice of starters was reasonable and our starters were good. However the choice of mains was very poor, only 3 to choose from. We both chose Plaice which was very dry and tasteless, on a small ration of some type of tasteless potatoes and we think vegetables, but could not be sure. the meal lacked a good sauce. I asked for a beer and was offered only a Swiss beer called 1936, which was of poor quality.
A very poor meal which was not inexpensive. Will not be revisiting.
Food + drink: 5
food was good atmosphere is fantastic, staff were so nice and helpfull, price was good love this place. and love all the history.
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