Experience Surprisingly Stylish Cooking At Studio Bar & Kitchen
29 Sep 2016
Prior to my review of the K West Hotel’s Studio Bar and Kitchen, I got to thinking about the origins of the word ‘gourmet’. It’s a term banded about all too freely amongst the restaurant world. So when I read that the Studio Bar and Kitchen pegs itself as a restaurant with a ‘gourmet menu’ I was understandably skeptical. Let’s be honest, how gourmet can a hotel get?
Arriving on a Thursday evening, we breezed into the lobby noticing a black granite bar illuminated by two impressive drop-column chandeliers. The candle-lit tables were peppered with loose-tied business types as they began unwinding in time for the weekend. An urban den, this place is the epitome of modern hotels, all open plan and cooler than ice. Whisked upstairs, we were greeted by one of the loveliest managers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Martina, we salute you. Exposed bulb lighting, the sort found at hip east London hotspots, floodlit the room, giving it a softer vibe than the downstairs bar.
Seated on the back wall of beige leather seats, the evening began with a warming Crab & Tomato Soup (£6.50) expertly crafted with fennel and cooling crème fraiche. My dining partner opted for the more adventurous Chicken Liver Cheesecake (£10), which gets kudos for innovation alone. I pinched her knife and smeared the buttery pate onto the raisin and walnut brioche topped it off with a hint of shallot marmalade. Delicious, though incredibly rich.
After starters I suddenly realised every other diner in the room was alone, staring at the blue screen of their smartphones. Alas, I guess that’s to be expected given the location.
Mains included the Black Truffle Tortelloni (£14), a wildly creamy wild mushroom, truffle oil and young spinach dish with bite, and on Martina’s recommendation, the new Absolutely Crabulous (£15.50). With such a pun-tastic name, I was a bit disappointed with the battered soft shell crab advertised as the star of the show. The beef patty was smothered in cheese and chilli mustard mayo and complemented by the usual pickles, tomato and lettuce, so it was a perfect mouthful without the addition of the sea friend.
Desserts included the Manuka Honey Cheesecake (£5.50), presented on a delicate bed of root beer snow and, rather oddly, garnished with candied beets. Perhaps it’s just me but beetroot always tastes like dirt, so I felt this jarred with the velvety vanilla layers of cream cheese. The Classic Chocolate Fondant (£5.50) is a winner, made with local vanilla bean ice cream and oozing with liquid decadence. I may or may not have finished this off for my friend. Maybe.
Every order in the Studio Kitchen is said to be served with a slice of glamour and a side-order of cool. I’m happy to back them up on that front. Though I’m not about to suggest you plan an evening around your visit here – and I wouldn’t stretch as far as saying it falls under my definition of ‘gourmet’ – if you fancy a bite to eat away from the toe-curling torture that is Westfield, it’s not a bad shout. And as a hotel restaurant, it’s pretty up there. The service is fast, the food surprisingly tasty and the price tag reasonable. Whether you’ve travelled from Timbuktu or just Topshop, what more could you want?