One of two Tom’s Kitchen venues in London, and also featuring a separate terrace during the summer months and a shop, this Somerset House restaurant prides itself on its ‘familiar and comforting’ dishes – setting itself up as a regular place to drop in after a hard day’s working, shopping or sightseeing.
Compared to Restaurant Tom Aikens – the chef’s flagship venue in Chelsea, where refinement and formality are the order of the day – Tom’s Kitchen is a rather more laid-back affair, with staple British dishes on the menu, a friendly and informal atmosphere (given the grandness of the surroundings, this is particularly welcome) and accessible prices.
Aikens brings his signature flourishes to all of the dishes on offer, although you’ll find much more on the menu to appeal to more grab-and-go tastes – the breakfasts in particular are highly praised, whether you fancy eggs in a number of incarnations, the full English, or a sausage sandwich with home-made ketchup (and salad to assuage any diet guilt). Main dishes include steak and chips, an open steak sandwich, and paprika sea bass – they’re executed with trademark flair, and more is available from the lunch and dinner menu – including the famous seven-hour braised shoulder of lamb, and chicken schnitzel served with slow-roasted tomatoes. Touches of luxury can be found in the foie gras parfait, among other items; and the prices are good.
Where the Chelsea outpost has ‘London townhouse’ appeal by the bucket load, Somerset House is a beautiful and slightly austere place to while away the hours; so Tom’s Kitchen provides a relaxing foil to any sense of grandeur with its friendly, relaxing atmosphere and buzz. Drinks range from a precisely-chosen wine list to an enviable selection of cocktails (including a range created in-house) and coffee and tea. For brunch, lunch, or dinner, this presents a number of options for trying Tom Aikens’s cuisine - which won’t test the budget.
Tom Aikens has worked in restaurants that have earned many Michelin stars, including establishments overseen by Joel Robuchon and Pierre Koffmann.
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