Recently I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a lovely evening at The Peridot Restaurant based in The Bentley Hotel in Kensington, London. Myself and friends, travelled up to London by train to Victoria Station, then jumped in a black cab and whisked off to what seemed a very private and beautiful part of Kensington.
We were greeted on arrival by the doorman and escorted through the beautifully decorated lobby by the concierge.
Once we were through the lobby we were taken to The Peridot Restaurant where we were introduced to the restaurant manager, Lealynn, who immediately made us feel very welcome.
We were immediately stunned at just how charming the restaurant was and could see why it has been aptly named 'The Peridot' due to the gorgeous green chairs. The chairs seemed to be the original chairs from years gone by, beautifully preserved and the restaurant had a certain 'feel' about it, greeting us with a mix of history and opulence.
Lealynn took us to our table which was a stunning 2 sofa booth which made me smile from ear to ear when I saw it: it was simply divine.
We sat down and listened to the classical music playing whilst we read through the menu. All of the staff were extremely knowledgeable about each dish on the menu and were able to quickly and succinctly answer any of our questions.
The à la carte menu itself had a good range of standard 'family' style meals and then the usual 'dining out in London' dishes ranging from fish and chips to slowly braised pork with five spiced jus.
We ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio Rossa and a bottle of sparkling mineral water and sipped on both whilst we waited for our food to arrive. The atmosphere was relaxed but luxurious. Lealynn once again was very helpful and asked if we were doing anything after the meal. I mentioned that we were going to a Jazz Night concert and she asked me to let her know when we had to leave so she could make sure our meal was complete and were able to leave on time so not to be late for our concert. I though this was a lovely touch and made us feel very special.
For my starter course, I chose the goats cheese and red onion marmalade tart. As soon as it arrived I knew it was going to taste good just by looking at it!
The tart pastry was thin, light and had just enough crisp in it to give the whole tart a lovely texture. The goats cheese was creamy and full of flavour without being over powering as some goats cheese can be. The red onion marmalade gave the whole dish a slight sweetness which was a perfect balance.
For my main course I chose the slowly braised pork belly with dauphinoise potato, a five spice jus and apple compote.
I cannot express how good this tasted. When I look at this photo now I can remember each individual flavour. The apple compote was sweet but not overly sweet. The dauphinoise potato was creamy, garlicky and perfectly seasoned. The pork, oh the pork! It was soft and juicy but the crackling was light and crispy, just how I like it. The pork had exceptional flavour by itself and even more so when smothered in the five spice jus.
For dessert I chose the fresh fruit salad. I wanted something light especially after the pork belly. My fruit salad arrived and it was like a carnival in a bowl. The colours shone like colourful fruity stars in a sea of white against the bowl.
Each piece of fruit tasted fresh and ripe, nothing was bitter or sour. Although a fresh fruit salad is a very simple dessert, it can so easily be served wrong by using unripe fruit or using fruit that has been sat there in the kitchen for a long time. Or even worse, half frozen fruit. I am so glad that The Peridot got this right!
The meal cost approximately £40 per head for a 3 course meal, a glass of wine and 2 glasses of sparkling water. For the food and the exemplary customer service we all found this to be extremely good value for money.
We mentioned to Lealynn that we had to leave as we only had 40 minutes to get to the other side of London to see our concert and she swiftly produced our bill. She personally led us out of the hotel where she asked the concierge to hail a black cab for us to take us to the concert venue. A smile never left her face and she really made us feel looked after and very happy to be there.
There is not one thing I would change about the meal or the whole experience, and it isn't very often I say that about a restaurant.