Kanteen at K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way London W14 0AX
Totally ravenous after our spa time (see previous post) we headed upstairs in the K West hotel to Kanteen. A small, dark and pretty much empty room greeted us. On a mezzanine floor above the trendy K Lounge bar, the restaurant looks totally out of place and a little sad, like an unpopular colleague that you have to invite the work party.
At our table we spent a hell of a log time trying to read the menu due to very poor printing and terrible lighting it was barely legible (Little hint – a candle or two on the table would make all the difference). The choices didn’t excite us, seemed it was a menu designed to try to please all, a typical hotel menu. Fish and chips (for a hefty £13) Thai green curry (£13.50) – never going to be an option unless in a Thai restaurant, Burgers (from £7.50), steak (£23.50) and pasta (from £12).
We were quite disappointed by the choice so for starters I opted for the homemade vegetarian spring rolls with Penang sauce and Ade the baked goats cheese and aubergine parcel served with cherry tomato, onion chutney and rocket salad. We also ordered the bread selection with sun dried tomatoes, olive tapenade & butter (£4.00), this took forever to turn up and when it did we were shocked (see pic). The waitress explained that they had run out of the tapanede so we had olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead. She didn’t explain where the sun dried tomatoes were or why we had been presented with a load of black bread, not really much of a selection.
The bread was warm and crunchy on the outside, but absolutely no flavour, it was incredibly bad. Amazingly even the olive oil was also bland.
As the poor waitress delivered the spring rolls to me she accidentally dropped one in my lap, now this meal wasn’t going very well. I have to say that I have never had spring rolls taste of nothing before, perhaps there was a hint of grease and carrot, but that was it. I only ate them as I was so hungry.
Ade’s starter was a slight improvement on mine, the baked goats cheese and aubergine parcel. It’s cheese was tangy and the salad and dressing were, dare I say, very nice. But the dish as a whole was let down by the soggy aubergine and the burnt onion in the chutney.
Next was Rigatoni pasta with grilled mixed peppers, red onion, courgettes, garlic tomato and basil (£12) for me and Risotto of courgettes, fava beans, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs with seared salmon fillet (£14) for Ade. Fresh herbs? Why not name them? I was dreading what would turn up. Luckily it wasn’t too bad, the pasta was cooked perfectly, the sauce almost there, could only really taste the vegetables and tomato, not much else. Ade’s risotto was ok, again not enough flavour. The fava beans had seen better days and the salmon, well it was well cooked and tender around the edges but somehow dry in the middle – We’re not even sure how that’s possible?
As we were finishing our meals Ade suggested we not bother with dessert and just go. Now for Ade to not want dessert, there has to be a huge problem. I said it could be their saving grace and thank god it was. My creme caramel (£5) looked rustically homemade and tasted it also, a nice bonus dish of strawberries on the side, a happy ending, thank god. Ade’s warm apple tart and honeycomb ice cream (£5) looked pretty sparse on the huge plate but the sweet buttery pastry base and honeycomb ice cream went perfectly with the slightly sour apples.
A great shame, one of the most disappointing meals we’ve had for a long time, and vastly over-priced, no wonder it was almost empty, and the customers that were there didn’t look too impressed either. The service was good, but slightly over attentive, the waitress coming over constantly to ask how our meal was and then disappearing before we had the chance to answer her.
The K Lounge has had some really good reviews but we can’t help but feel that the Kanteen has been neglected and pushed into a (very dark) corner. As we were researching for this piece we came across this review which totally echoes what we feel.
Kanteen at the K West Hotel
London W14 0AX
Open Mon-Thu 6:30pm-10pm; Fri 6:30pm-9pm;