A box-fresh café concept in South Kensington
There’s a new kid on the block – Chucs Kensington – gorgeous and chic, down at the corner in South Kensington…
Run by celebrated restaurant & café collection Chucs, under the direction of Graziano Arricale and new Executive Chef Simon Henbery, Chucs Café Kensington is the group’s box-fresh café concept and its first foray into casual dining. Simon joins Chucs following leading roles at Fifteen London, Barbecoa and Ace Hotel Shoreditch.
We went along to try it out…
It was a warm July evening, and a ‘65 Ford Mustang convertible parked outside helped set the scene, whilst on the terrace, pretty window boxes spilt over with lavender and authentic bistro tables were filled with an elegant, well-heeled Kensington crowd under marine-blue awnings. The sumptuous powder-blue exterior and tiled path conjured more Mediterranean spirit, and inside was a feast for the eyes – an elegant modernist interior re-imagined by renowned designers Fettle Studios, led by Andy Goodwin, inspired by the effortless glamour of 1950s Italy and the Côte d’Azur…
Fast forward…We can almost imagine ourselves on the set of a Fellini movie. Two large theatrical pendant lights take centre-stage; the mirrored, wood-panelled walls are decked with an electric mix of modernist paintings and big photographs of the Riviera.
Stylish soft-upholstered furnishings in blues and golds and booth seating, a marble bar and tiled flooring make for a consummate dining experience at once classy and Informal, just as well suited to a leisurely breakfast, a light lunch or evening meal. Table settings sparkle prettily, and the young staff, looking every bit the part, spruce in traditional waiters’ outfits.
We sipped a 2017 Chardonnay Tormanesca, Puglia – an unassuming, fresh and light white, with notes of mineral, melon and citrus. The taste of summer…
Dinner was delicious, a simple unfussy affair of classic dishes beautifully presented and perfectly accomplished.
Our meal began with a melt-in-the-mouth burrata – delightfully wobbly, fresh and creamy, served with a selection of varicoloured sweet heritage tomatoes.
The carpaccio of beef was divinely tasty, its paper-thin slices of tender beef laced with Chucs own unique sauce – a combination of homemade mayo, anchovies, lemon oil and pecorino, sprinkled with nuggets of crunchy capers.
For Mains. Chicken Milanese, succulent under perfectly golden-crisp breadcrumb, served with fresh rocket and lemon.
A delicious black olive pangrattato risotto was both al dente and creamy, infused with warm subtle flavours of fennel, white wine, pecorino, and a cool chilli kick.
Our side of zucchini fritti was a perfect accompaniment – slithers of courgette cooked in a fine, crisp batter.
And when in Italy…well, who can resist? And so, on theme, we shared an indulgent classic Italian Tiramisu – steeped in alcohol and oozing with fresh cream and mascarpone…with espresso, of course.
There’s plenty more on offer, too. Try a cobb salad, chicken paillard, or one of a selection of Chucs tempting pasta, including tagliatelle with crab & Amalfi lemon or bigoli cacio e pepe. There are Chucs burgers and club sandwiches plus small plates, including 24-month prosciutto di Parma, broad beans and smoked mozarella, or seared tuna with ponzu & sesame. The breakfast menu features a wide choice, ranging from fresh pastries and house granola with flat peaches and yoghurt to classic favourites like eggs Benedict or smashed avocado with poached eggs and smoked chilli.
Open morning, noon and night, seven days a week, offering a high-quality full-service café menu; Chucs, c’est chic! Warm and welcoming in the evening, ideal for an intimate dinner for two, or a meeting of friends. By day it’s bright and breezy, the fabulous terrace ideal for an alfresco coffee, watching the world go by, great for breakfasts, brunches and lunches during the summer months.
Or get cosy inside…take your pick.
There are also takeaway options including paninis, salads, smoothies and coffee…So drop in, soon, and treat yourselves to a little bit of Riviera heaven in the heart of South Kensington, Chucs Café-style.
97 Old Brompton Road,
Monday – Friday: 07:00 – 10:30
Saturday – Sunday: 08:00 – 10:30
020 8037 4525