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Somerset Hosue, Strand
Bryn Williams of Odette’s fame is the latest chef (following Tom Aikens) to oversee the network of rooms that make up the restaurant occupying the south wing of Somerset House. It’s a dramatic and moody setting, featuring comfy booths and stunning food photography, but the awkward layout of the space rather takes the edge off the atmosphere.
But what the restaurant lacks in good-time vibes, it more than makes up for in feel-good food. An on-trend menu makes vegetables the star of the show and, while the cooking might not be vegetarian, there’s no doubting where the focus lies in a dish described as grilled hispi cabbage with apple and pork chop. All the dishes we tried impressed, from a fresh-tasting dome of compressed watermelon topped with avocado and a generous helping of sweet Dorset crab, to a rich main of tagliatelle entwined with kale pesto and a liberal shaving of grated parmesan, and our friendly waitress’ dessert suggestion of lavender-scented meringue shards with tart blueberry ice cream.
To drink, there’s a European leaning wine list, cocktails involving the likes of rhubarb and beetroot, plus a draught beer bar that gives a reason to visit even if you don’t want to eat.
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Somerset Hosue, Strand
Temple Tube Station 228m
Embankment Tube Station 604m
Somerset House 94m
Somerset House - Courtauld Institute of Art 96m
Mon-Sun 10am-11pm (Sun -4pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
The latest venture by Bryn WIlliams at Somerset House is outstanding. The setting in South Building with its wide windows overlooking the Thames allows for a sun-filled and light effect despite the restriction placed by an elongated restaurant of several rooms. The staff certainly get exercise as they walk the length of the restaurant. Nevertheless, they remain both relaxed and very cheerful. The staff has the solicitous commitment that is the hallmark of a great restaurant. Service is impeccable and very friendly and it subtly draws in the patron into the successful experiment that is Bryn WIlliams cuisine.
This is not a restaurant for those who leave the greens for their meat and potatoes. .Or perhaps it is as they could easily be converted into a healthier lifestyle by Williams. Wonderful things are done with the textures and flavours of vegetables while retaining meat or fish at the core of many but not all dishes. The flavours are rich, satisfying and subtle as befits a fine restaurant. None of the ubiquitous chili that so blunts the British palate. There are delightful surprises. These include the best soda bread that I ever tasted accompanied by the most delicious butter. Chefs who produce outstanding main courses tend to be more mundane at dessert. Not here. I had a delicious cheesecake that had a mango mousse that was nothing short of fabulous.
This is a newly opened restaurant. London will be lucky indeed if it retains this very high standard of food and service.
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Set Menu - 2 courses £18 or 3 courses £21.50 per person
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Set Menu - 2 courses £18 or 3 courses £21.50 per person (Tables of 6 or more)
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