A quality night out detected at Holmes
28 November, 2019 — By Tom Moggach
Kitchen at Holmes’ cooking is of a high quality, designed for an international clientele
ON a drizzly winter evening, it can be fun to spice up life with a spot of role play.
Imagine, for example, that you’re a wide-eyed tourist exploring London for the first time. The size of this city and abundance of choice must be mind-boggling.
There are around 17,000 restaurants operating in the capital. It’s no surprise, then, that Kitchen at Holmes had not crossed my radar.
We stumbled across the place after an exorbitant drink at Chiltern Firehouse, a celebrity playground nearby where we snuck in past snooty doormen.
The restaurant is attached to Holmes Hotel on Baker Street, which trades on its proximity to the museum dedicated to the fictional detective.
Kitchen at Holmes occupies a large swathe of the ground floor of the 118-room edifice, with a long bar, DJ booth, white marble tables and a gleaming island kitchen at one end to watch the chefs at work. Sherlock gets a subtle nod in the luxe décor, for example, in a modern, abstract painting that shows the great man reclining in a chair.
If you wander to the loos, you’ll spy shelves with old leather-bound ledgers, 12 inches thick, and glass displays housing antique dissection manuals and test tubes.
The cocktail list is classily illustrated with botanical prints. We couldn’t resist their signature creation, the Sherlock’s Pipe. A waiter arrives bearing a glass dome swirling with applewood-scented mist. Unleashed, it billows around revealing a glass pipe containing their aged whiskey negroni. On a neighbouring table, two young visitors to London went the whole hog – taking selfies while borrowing a pair of deerstalker hats.
The cooking here is of high quality. The chef has created a broad menu designed to appeal to an international clientele. “Food for Londoners – we see it as the world capital,” explains the manager.
This explains the kaleidoscope of ingredients such as tzatziki, ponzu sauce, lemongrass, Amalfi lemon and Oscietra caviar.
A starter of red prawn carpaccio was remarkable. The raw scarlet crustaceans are sliced gossamer thin. The texture is silky, the flavour intense and long lasting, lifted with a grating of lemon zest.
We dunked homemade pitta into tahini and nibbled on chunks of an Italian cow’s cheese rolled in the pressings of Nebbiolo red grapes.
A plate of dente ravioli, filled with buffalo ricotta, was finished with shavings of black truffle.
Our ribeye made the most of its provenance – Scottish Longhorn and dry aged for 35 days.
Kitchen at Holmes is open all day, starting with a breakfast menu that features coconut and popped quinoa with banana and blueberries.
Service is friendly and professional.
It’s not cheap, of course. But prices are reasonable for London given the surroundings and quality of the food. At dinner, expect to pay around £40 for two courses before drinks. This was an unusual night out – but it did the trick. We travelled home admiring the city with fresh eyes.
Kitchen at Holmes
108 Baker Street, W1U 6LJ
020 7958 5210