Soane’s Kitchen, Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park W5 5EQ
Outside or inside? It was one of those balmy evenings before the wet weather descended on us that I went to Soane’s Kitchen. But, with promises of an Indian summer on the horizon for September, I haven’t given up on dining al fresco just yet. It doesn’t matter at Soane’s Kitchen – they’re all about bringing the outside in. The place is airy and open plan with plastic plants, charmingly shelved like as if in an IKEA showroom. The glass doors open onto their vegetable patch beside the restaurant; the product of which all makes its way to the kitchen. Part of the Pitzhanger Manor in Walpole Park, Soane’s Kitchen is a new opening this year from London catering company Social Pantry. Its founder Alex Head wanted a place that would welcome Ealing residents and provide Londoners further afield a “little retreat to the country. Located beside the Pitzhanger Manor house and surrounded by the open space of Walpole Park, Soane’s Kitchen is brilliant for a late afternoon lunch with the family followed by a stroll around the grounds – providing the weather stays nice.
The food is all seasonal and sustainable. The menu changes depending on the availability of the seasonal produce and it’s clear the staff are proud of the vegetable garden. It’s a really charming idea but it did worry me that if the restaurant grows in popularity (which no doubt it will), how realistic it will be to continue growing on-site. The all-day menu is all about seasonal dishes, so is subject to change. As with The Social Pantry, the dishes are light but no less comforting. For starters, select from beef tartar, crab taco, and burrata. We opted for the divine shredded ham hock and cheddar croquettes. They were divinely melt-in-your-mouth with ‘just right’ defining the ham-cheese-potato ratio.
We’d been snooping their Instagram before our visit, so mains had already been decided. The iconic-looking tempura shrimp and squid ink burger for me and the Soane’s burger with blue cheese for my pal. It was the cod fillet with summer pea that I ultimately ordered, but all dishes – as promised – were the light comfort food that Social Pantry is known for. Other mains included sweet potato gnocchi, rib eye steak and lamb rump with aubergine puree. The cod fillet was cleanly stacked on a bed of summer peas and accompanied by a tidy dollop of pea puree, which was a sweet, more natural tasting version of mushy peas. Soane’s burger was pinned together in a soft brioche bun, standard London burger fare without getting your fingers messy.
The desserts are fresh, romantic and adorned with edible flowers. Think honey and elderflower cake, honey roast peaches and a basil meringue. We closed on a pleasant cheeseboard accompanied with raisin bread and chutney. It comprised of generous servings of Gruyère, blue cheese, Emmental and goat’s cheese – a fabulous finish to a summer evening meal.
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To book, visit the website here or call 020 8579 2685