I should have known. Seriously. I looked at the web page, and the chef’s CV, and I saw that burlesque turn to the upholstery on the chairs, and I should have known. I mean, I’ve lived and worked in London long enough to know that any hotel whose name I don’t recognise shouldn’t be on my list of places to eat. Have you heard of Tenth Restaurant?
Ah, but, well, you know, it’s a dinner with a friend, and, well, why not try new things? Right?
You know when you’re heading to the Kensington Garden something something Hotel by the number of braying American accents you hear en route and the preponderance of chinos. The colour mauve makes a remarkable appearance in the lobby on the guests. Usually in nylon.
Into the lift, and up to the tenth floor.
Into the hotel and the bar area for a quick gin and tonic with my friend before dinner. The Italian bar maid was charming in her own way, and the bar appeared to be a particularly italianophone domain. We looked over the menu and ordered. I specifically asked ‘what were the signature differences’ to have our Scottish waitress reply ‘well, I like the blah blah blah.’ Who cares what you like dear?
I ordered the Carpaccio of New Forest Venison starter followed by the Buccleuch beef with oxtail. The carpaccio was acceptable, with a shreaded beetroot and slight frisee salad offsetting the slightly bland nature of the venison – a bit more kick from the acidity of the beetroot. But the beef was lovely, in terms of cooking and tenderness, however obscured by a big splash of truffle oil over the beef. Where was that on the menu??? There was no discussion of truffle oil! Grrr.
Dinner was finished off with coffee and petits fours. And then a quick Jack Daniels on the rocks.
Dinner for 2 at Tenth: £200 including service
Food: 6.5 out of 10
Service: 4.5 out of 10 – a united nations panopoly of mediocrity combined with awful uniforms
Jack Daniels: £6.25
Atmosphere: 3 out of 10 – someone please make this place look less like an airport lounge!
Sexy Factor: 2 out of 10 – as the only person under 40, and no cuteness around, more like an OAPs home.
And the loo: 3 out of 10 – An Eastern European dream of mediocre tiles (some with flower motifs!)
Cab home: £22.50 and not aided by the concierge who disappeared. Shameful
Return?: Not if it were the last restaurant in London. Dear Chef Farquarhson, be clever and change venues!