The Kensington Wine Rooms 1

127-129 Kensington Church Street , London, W8 7LP

Kensington Wine Rooms London bar restaurant

SquareMeal Review of The Kensington Wine Rooms

Debonair Kensington Wine Rooms has a fun, buzzy feel that’s no doubt fortified by the copious quantities of wine by the glass it dispenses – some four dozen are available via an Enomatic system. Pitch camp at the bar, charge up your special pre-paid card, then sip your way through a list that runs from everyday sips to serious ‘event’ vintages at intimidating prices. Wine matches appear alongside each dish on the evening menu in the adjoining dining area: Cornish crab, avocado and spiced crackers with a Gusbourne Estate Chardonnay from Kent; sea bass atop crab, pea and crème fraîche risotto with a 2014 Puligny Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’; onglet steak and hand-cut chips accompanied by a 2104 Stellenbosch (RSA). ‘Bar plates’ and lunch specials for a tenner offer the best value, brunch brightens up the weekend, and regular wine events are a big draw.

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8.0

Food & Drink: 8.3

Service: 7.5

Atmosphere: 7.5

Value: 6.5

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Oliver L. 25 July 2013

The Kensington Wine Rooms has possibly the best and most thought through wine list in London. Their expanding collection of natural wines is a treat – sure, sometime you have to pay up for the low yields and the hard labour that goes into making those gems, but it's well worth it. Very considerate mark-ups on the higher-end wines. The food is matched to individual wines and doesn't disappoint! Great atmosphere.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Magnus T. 15 February 2012

The Kensington Wine Rooms has been a favourite of mine since it opened as I used to live (very) nearby. I went back there last night and had a fantastic time. If anything, I'd say the food has improved. The cooking is modern european and pared-back in the intimate restaurant at the back. At the bar they have a tapas menu, but one which aims rather higher than your usual tapas joint: the foie gras is to die for and amazingly good value! Fantastic wine list too, with very low mark-ups, esp. at the top end. Slight bias: the wines by the glass dispensers are fantastic if you're studying for your WSET exams, and I'm in the trade.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Continental Diner platinum reviewer 12 February 2012

Let's be clear here: the concept of KWR is great. To serve top wines by the glass, aided by an elaborade – fridge doesn't do it justice – “cooling mechanism” is great. However, the tapas style dishes are not as good as they could – or should for this price -be. Service can be sketchy during busy times, but the main problem here is the bill – expensive was yesterday, this is astronomical. Ironically it is the Tapas which weigh heaviest on the bill and one comes away with a distinct feeling that a few really good bottles – not glasses – with friend at home would have been a better idea. However, the concept has potential and maybe the arrival of the financial crises in Kensington will help with the fine tuning of the pricing structure.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

Fiona M. gold reviewer 24 March 2010

I've been to the Kensington Wine Rooms for lunch a few times now and have always loved the food and wine. The food is tasty, seasonal and beautifully presented in decent portion sizes. I had a really tasty vegetarian lasagne while my guests had the tiger prawn, crab & mange tout risotto (which had proper large juicy prawns, not the tiny shrimps you get elsewhere), and duck with a red berry sauce and roast squash. The duck didn't go down as well as the other two dishes; it was described as “fatty and undercooked”, and the squash was still hard. I'm also a real fan of the extensive wine list (from the very reasonable to pretty expensive) and the self-serve wine system – great fun! My only issue with the Wine Rooms is that it's never actually been busy when I've been there for lunch; there were only 4/5 tables filled yesterday which seems mad. The result is that the atmosphere is distinctly lack lustre. Maybe they should do some sort of lunch time offers? Set 2/3 course menus at lower prices?

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The Kensington Wine Rooms is included in the following SquareMeal lists