Restaurant review: Kitchen at Holmes – summer menu

Kitchen at Holmes
Tim Firmager
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Part of the Holmes Hotel, Kitchen at Holmes embeds the hotel’s Sherlock Holmes theme, but the restaurant is keen to showcase it is more than a gimmick. They have launched their summer menu, so we at Vada revisited (from our review in January) to sample what’s on offer.

Kitchen at Holmes

Located on the ground floor of the Holmes Hotel, Kitchen at Holmes is accessed directly from Baker Street. Therefore not just for hotel guests, Kitchen at Holmes is positioned as a neighbourhood restaurant. As guests enter, there is a bar with a welcoming open fire. Although open plan, partitioning separates the restaurant area, most seats of which have a view onto the final prep area. Neutral tones and use of wood, combined with plenty of staff on hand makes for a calm atmosphere.

Downstairs, the venue offers rooms for a private dining experience, with space for the hotel to set up a separate bar, and a dining table that can fold out to be a billiards table, where we sampled the menu.

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Those looking to dine al fresco will note the outdoor terrace as they arrive, offering some privacy from Baker Street and shade from the summer sun – perfect for those late afternoon lunches.

Summer menu

The new summer à la carte menu is devised by Chef Stefano Motta, which is packed full of seasonal produce and Mediterranean influences. Small and large plates are spit between field, sea, and land. We sampled across the nibbles, small plates and large plates, noting that a number of dishes can be served as either a small or large plate.

Our standout items included:

From the Nibbles:

  • Jerusalem Pita & Tahini with crushed tomato (£9) – we appreciated these are fresh, warm and puffy pita, completely the opposite of the flat, flaccid variety we have become so accustomed to in British supermarkets.
  • Cuttlefish Croquette with Tabasco mayo (£9.50) – almost everything is improved when it’s been wrapped in breadcrumbs and fried, mac-n-cheese is a particular favourite, and the Cuttlefish at Kitchen at Holmes has the same improvement.

From the Small Plates:

  • Green Hummus with broad beans and falafel (£11) – whilst on paper this may not sound as exciting as some of the other dishes on the menu, the presentation of four erect columns of falafel in the hummus doused in sesame seeds brings out the inner child.
  • Scallops with burnt aubergine tahini, basil and lemon crust (£12 each) – particularly expensive compared with when we ate scallops last (about a year ago), but the presentation and execution was perfect.
  • Breaded Lamb Cutlet with crushed new potatoes, spring onion & cumin mayo (£14.75) – lamb is not generally a favourite of ours, but the cutlets were well cooked and the spiced crumb was unique.

Large Plates:

  • Courgette Spaghetti with pistachio pesto, basil, and smoked ricotta (£14 or £23) – the courgette was cooked al dente, with plenty of texture. The flavours of pesto and ricotta together provide familiarity but a delightful unfamiliarity from the use of pistachio and smoking of the cheese.
  • Ricotta Ravioli with butter and black truffle (£13 or £21.50) – not unique to Kitchen at Holmes, but this particular dish has become a comfort food of ours at Vada.
  • Hake with white asparagus & saffron mussels impepata (£16 or £27.50) – asparagus season is coming to an end in Germany, the land with a fanatical obsession with white asparagus. This is a healthy and flavourful way to enjoy the white vegetable before the Germans call an end to this year’s season.
  • Presa Iberica with ajo blanco, almonds and white grape (£16 or £26) – by far the stand-out plate on the menu, which is so paired back to just enjoy the meat itself. If nothing else, order this Spanish pork.

Desserts always cause a divide – we always find room of course, but the choice is over which is the best. This inevitably causes FOMO (fear of missing out), or risks disappointment if not prepared as we prefer. Kitchen at Holmes as a variety – for citrus lovers, try the cream-filled Amalfi Lemon Delice (£9.75), and for chocolate lovers, opt for the Bonet (a soft, creamy Italian chocolate dessert) with whipped cream, caramel, Amaretto & pistachio crumble (£9.75).

Service

On our visit, we had a private dining experience to sample a range a small bites of the menu, so our experience will likely be different to that from the main restaurant. However going by our previous review in January and by our experiences in June, staff were friendly, and helped us feel calm throughout the meal.

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Overall thoughts

There’s a lot of enjoy on the new summer menu at Kitchen at Holmes, with 3 courses costing around £60 per person (plus drinks and service), which for London offers good value given the level of service and quality of dishes on offer.

Other dishes on the menu (not mentioned above) remain from last season and there is an quirk that a starter uses courgette’s Italian name, zucchini, which is an unnecessary oddity. Other than that the summer menu offers a lot to enjoy. And don’t forget to order the Presa Iberica.

Kitchen at Holmes is located at 108 Baker Street, London, W1U 6LJ

For more information or to book, visit kitchenatholmes.co.uk.

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.