KOL

Mexican·
££££
·
Gold Award
London, W1H 7BA ·Website ·Call020 3829 6888

SquareMeal Review of KOL

Gold Award

KOL is unlike dining anywhere else in London. This trendy Mexican restaurant offers a true oasis and a little slice of paradise. In this calming space highly skilled staff operate and set the tone that while you’re here - even if you only stay for an hour - you’re de vacaciones. Nothing is too much trouble.

With carefully considered plating it’s not hard to see why the menu, what felt like just moments after the restaurant’s opening, appeared in near its entirety all over Instagram. This is photo-friendly food that actually manages to tick both the style and substance boxes. Diners are welcomed to the table with a broth that magically has the whole substance of a meal in liquid form - warm, rich, luxurious, with the fulness of beef stock and subtle chilli warmth.

The kitchen sits in the middle of the room and there’s something reassuring about seeing your food be finished right in front of you by a team who works together in unison as if everyone in it is performing some kind of culinary endurance sport where concentration can’t be broken. Dishes are put together with precision using atomisers, tongs and tweezers for that signature fine-dining finish.

Reflecting the ambiance, warmth is woven through the menu, with chilli used carefully in countless forms – from the accompaniments on the vegetarian kohlrabi cevice through to the guajillo mayonnaise accompanying the seared lamb tostadas which is almost like a tartare. It’s difficult to eat dishes like this and not feel joyful, it’s clever and its curious and flavour is reinforced throughout. For example, the main short rib of beef is accompanied by carrots cooked in the fat for all-out descendance, while a smooth-as-silk corn husk ice cream is served with a steamed chocolate maize cake for a sweet, buttery finale.

Everything about KOL feels considered, even down to drinks list selections which champion smaller brands and present softs made in-house, like the hibiscus and beetroot agua fresca. The packed dining room is an indicator that the team here are giving the people what they want, a refreshing escape from reality – even if only all too brief.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Mexican
Ambience
Cool, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Chef’s table, Vegetarian options
People
Celebrations, Celeb-spotting, Dates

About KOL

While there are plenty of places to grab tacos and tequila in London, there are fewer Mexican restaurants serving up fine-dining fare. KOL, having opened in the somewhat challenging year of 2020, hopes to bring a whole new kind of innovative Mexican cuisine to the UK’s capital.

The venture is headed up by chef Santiago Lastra who is keen to showcase Mexico’s food culture while simultaneously celebrating the best of British produce. The well-respected chef previously oversaw the launch of world-renowned restaurant Noma’s seven-week pop up in Mexico. While KOL will serve Mexican food made with ingredients sourced mainly in the UK it will also champion ingredients which are often looked upon as simple or low-end. Its approach to food is referenced in the name. KOL is a play on the Spanish word ‘col’, which translates as ‘cabbage’. Lastra revealed in an interview that he chose the name because he wants to show that “an average ingredient can be incredible”.

When dining at KOL, guests are given the choice between a five or six course tasing menu, and there is an option to add a wine pairing. While the food at KOL may flex and fluctuate with the seasons, guests can expect dishes offered to include the likes of langoustine tacos with smoked chilli, kohlrabi with pink mole and confit pork cheek carnitas.

Aside from the food offering, guests with a keen eye for detail will surely be impressed by the care taken over the interiors. Here you’ll find warm Mexican colours brough to life by the design team at A-NRD Studio. From rattan lightshades and rough pottery ornaments (sourced from indigenous communities in Mexico) to the wooden bar, the whole restaurant is an escape from the buzz of London outside. Nice touches include works from Mexican artist Fernando La Posse’s, whose full-length heritage corn husk mosaic hangs in the reception, and the tableware which has been gathered from 18 artisan potters across the UK.

Kol also boasts a bar, which has a focus on mezcal and natural wines.

Location for KOL

9 Seymour Street, London, W1H 7BA

020 3829 6888

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri 17:00-22:00
Sat 17:00-22:00
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun 12:00-18:30

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