Tel: +44 (0)20 7937 4152
Address: 51 Kensington Church St, London W8
Cuisine Type: British
Kensington High Street (DISTRICT, CIRCLE)
It is lit by candles and the bar is as tiny as anything you could imagine. Ffiona’s is a concept restaurant, offering “home cooking” to the Kensington chattering classes.
An A2 size wine list shows most wines around £20+ and glasses available only of the house wines, but the food menu is on the blackboard next to us which reaches to the ceiling. Myopically we peered in vain at the top, wondering what the starters were exactly. Happily, Ffiona appeared to translate for us and, after minimal debate, we went for a calamari dish (calamari with a token few scraps of salad) and duck pate (a lump of pate with two toasted slices of bread). Both were bland and, considering they cost over £10 between them, were disappointing.
The tables are wooden but so smooth that any rustic effect intended is immediately lost. A dinner service which consists of unmatching crockery again tries to make one feel that one is at home.
Main courses on offer were many and varied with a pleasing variety of meat types available – including partridge. I opted for venison, with which there was a choice of cooking style for the potatoes. Mine were sauteed and looked remarkably chip-like. A side order of a bowl of tasteless boiled vegetables was shared, my companion opting for chicken with ricotta cheese and spinach. Both main courses arrived almost immediately, leaving one with the impression – backed up by the taste of the food – that fresh these dishes were not. At £15.50, the venison was reasonably priced and cooked as requested, but the chicken had been subjected to deflavouring. Even the cheese was tasteless.
A selection of puddings was available for around £4 and apple crumble and custard was adequate. It didn’t do much to despatch the notion that here was a good idea for a restaurant that went wrong somewhere in its execution. A pity.