Kamique Bar Review.
London is full of places ostensibly like Kamique, bars stuffed with hen nighters and pre-clubbers drinking brightly coloured cocktails on plush banquettes, the sound of chatter competing with pumping music. This was my first impression but heading over to the quieter dining room, roped off from the crowded bar, I began to gain confidence. On sitting down there was some confusion over our booking and we were moved twice to a different table but the staff throughout were extremely friendly and whilst not entirely organized yet, the place is pretty new so they’re still finding their feet. Despite the place being very busy we never felt we had been forgotten.
My friend Olivia and I spent several minutes debating how to describe the décor of the dining area, a massive tube of red velvet holding 10 or 15 tables, and I quite liked her suggestion that it was “like dining in a giant ventricle”, a decidedly weird experience but it had a sort of Bond villain chic to it! Looking at the menu I was struck by the range available, with options from Pad Thai to Fish and Chips available. Of course the aim of Kamique is to provide what people out for a quick dinner are most likely to want all on one menu and if you were with a group of friends looking for different cuisine options this would be a perfect solution.
To kick off we shared a platter of duck spring rolls, stuffed with thick chunks of meat and spring onion and served with a sweet plum sauce. This might not have been the most authentic interpretation but actually it was fresh and moreish, the pastry cooked to a perfect crisp.
After this I thought I’d try a burger so I went for the “Smoked Special” which featured bacon, onion rings and cheddar, all piled in with a huge beef burger. This was a thick and greasy pile of indulgence which, frankly, was very enjoyable. The beef was juicy and cooked well and the toppings generously portioned. The thin frites that came on the side were, for me, too salty but I didn’t have room for many of them after the burger anyway. Olivia had a beautifully cooked sirloin steak with a rich and creamy peppercorn sauce and thick cut chips that were just right, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside and not too salty.
In comparison to our first two courses dessert was a bit of a disappointment. We shared a chocolate cheesecake topped with fresh berries and a raspberry coulis and whilst the topping was light and fresh the cheesecake itself was a bit claggy and cloyingly sweet.
Over the course of the evening we also tried several cocktails. The Cucumber Mojito was light and refreshing and probably the favourite of the night but the Honey Berry Sour with Krupnik honey vodka was also pretty tasty with a heady floral flavour. Interestingly the “Kamiquitini”, the signature drink of the bar, was the our least favourite. I found it considerably too sweet with a lengthy list of ingredients including raspberry vodka, Fraise de Bois, cranberry, apple, lime and cucumber which ended up just tasting a bit sugary and confused. Having said all that I would mention that cocktails at Kamique, considering the area, are very good value for money ranging around the £7 mark in an area where it is easy to pay £10-£16.
In spite of a few teething problems, ultimately Kamique does what it sets out to do pretty well. The atmosphere is noisy and a bit chaotic but youthful and lively nevertheless. The food is generally fresher and tastier than you would normally find in a cocktail bar, the service is very friendly and cheerful and the drinks, whilst sometimes a little sweet for my taste, are excellent value. All in all a good option if you want a few drinks with some friends or a meal before the theatre at prices that, for this part of town, are really very reasonable.
Disclaimer: Our evening of cocktails and food was provided free of charge by Kamique.
63-66 St Martins Lane,
London WC2N 4JS