Overlooking Kensington Gardens, the Park Terrace Restaurant is a fine dining establishment serving British cuisine with a modern twist. Created by Executive Head Chef Steve Munkley and his talented team, the menus specialise in only using the finest ingredients and produce from sustainable sources and local farms and orchards. In short, the Park Terrace showcases the best products the British Isles have to offer, and promises a great seasonal feast. The restaurant uses meat from a co-operative of farmers based in Essex and around the East Anglian countryside. All animals are free range and some are organic. The waiting staff is also happy to explain the breed used and often even the farm where the animal comes from. The restaurant’s principal fishmonger works with small fleets of fishermen who fish the waters around the British Isles, and are at sea for a maximum of 24 hours.
The Park Terrace is found on the ground floor of the Royal Garden Hotel, a long-time favourite with London’s diplomatic community. Its unique position next to Kensington Palace ensures a steady stream of willing customers for dinner or an overnight stay.
And indeed, my starter of seared West Country ‘Black Label’ beef fillet with Cashel blue, endive and sweet mustard sauce was spectacular, and a testament to the thought and process that goes into sourcing the ingredients. The seared Scottish scallops with Cromer crab and tomato risotto were also tasty, but the pink grapefruit sauce declared a little tart for the rest of the dish.
My main course of grilled ‘T Bone’ of Cornish halibut, with brown shrimp potato cakes, green vegetable panache and shellfish bisque was excellent, and my husband’s lavender and herb-crusted Essex lamb rump with French beans, pea purée and confit potato was also delicious.
Perhaps our choices played it rather safe though? For the more adventurous, options included the pan-fried sea bream fillet with chickpea and chorizo casserole, celeriac and scallop beignet, or oven-roasted squab pigeon breast and confit ravioli with cep pilaf rice, sautéed curly kale and garlic cream sauce.
For pudding, the banana tart tatin with lime shortbread ice cream was nothing short of a miracle and clearly outshone the vanilla cheesecake with lemon and coriander consommé. Although we didn’t manage to have any – the three courses we had were quite sufficient! – Neal’s Yard have supplied the delicious looking selection of cheese, including the East End local, ‘Bermondsey Frier.’
With views overlooking Hyde Park through the floor-to-ceiling windows, the room is cleverly designed so guests can enjoy the buzz of the bar next door. The restaurant was completely full on the Friday evening we visited. Although we didn’t indulge in any ourselves, there were plenty of colourful cocktails passing by from the bar to the restaurant which were being thoroughly quaffed. We enjoyed a perfect glass of Louis Roderer champagne, followed by the sommelier’s selection: a bottle of Chilean Estampa Reserve, a Syrah/Viognier from the Colchagua Valley. We were offered discreet, friendly service from a very international staff (and international guests to go with it.) At two courses for £29.50 or three courses for £36.50, this is fine dining at excellent value.