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fine dining


    Restaurant Ours 

    A group of us managed to get a table at Restaurant Ours a week before the official opening May 19th and I was really looking forward to it. Touted by Tom Sellers himself as the biggest restaurant launch in London this year (cue eye roll), it seems like he hopes it will be the next Chiltern. And it might be, I mean, they both have delicious fried chicken snacks.

    Restaurant Ours is a stone’s throw away from what used to be the bustling Walton Street, and South Kensington has been hungry for this type of restaurant for a while. A crafted, low key atmosphere with good food and even better décor is exactly what will revitalize this area, which seems to have lost it’s mojo in the last few years.

    Situated in the space formerly occupied by the Collection nightclub, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The last time I was at Collection was 2008, where I had the worst cosmopolitan of my life, was knocked over by a Russian prostitute and never returned. For me, the most striking thing about Restaurant Ours is what they did with the space. The exposed brick is still there, but whereas before there would be a model swinging from the chandeliers, there’s now some beautiful greenery. The familiar long hallway entrance is lit beautifully, but the real attraction is the open plan dining room’s large trees adorned with fairy lights. To add to the ambiance, a troupe of (bearded, obvs) acoustic musicians walked around and serenaded the tables.

    We dined on a Friday night and there was a real mix of people (a table of 15 instagram models with three men as well as a family of four in our section), and since I went during their soft opening, I won’t necessarily be as critical as I usually would. Yes, there were hiccups. Most of the bathrooms were out of order, and the one that did work, didn’t have any soap. They didn’t have their lowest priced champagne (Ruinart at £85/bottle), brought a mocktail full of gin and they don’t take American Express. But, that aside I am so happy to have a restaurant like this in our neighborhood.

    We were told by our waiter that Restaurant Ours was a ‘sharing concept’ dining experience and modern European cuisine. Although, the menu felt quite worldly, with influences from the American South (buttermilk chicken), India (lamb samosas) and Japan (vegetable tempura).

    The menu was divided into several sections: Starters, Raw, Salads, Mains, Beef, Sides and Desserts. There was also an additional menu attached called Snacks.

    The relatively large portion of Tuna.

    He suggested we get a few starters for everyone to share, our own main, and then share the desserts. The selection looked fantastic, so we ordered several items off the snacks menu and the starters. The prices were reasonable, especially for this area, and the reason became clear when we saw the portions; they were all over the place.

    The ham croquetas were plentiful, but contained far too much cheese and fell apart easily.

    The salt and pepper squid could have been crispier and I found them to be a tad on the rubbery side, but the spicy dipping sauce was excellent and the dish came with a few pieces of asparagus tempura.

    Whatever you do, you need to order the buttermilk chicken (or fancy chicken nuggets as I like to call them). They were delicious, perfectly cooked, crispy and came with an interesting creamy pineapple dipping sauce. This was by far my favourite dish!

    The crab, avocado and apple was really good, but there was no way it was meant to be shared, unless it was between two small children or the type of date that pretends to eat, which if that is you, go for it.

    Steak Tartare, from the raw menu.

    Much of the food we ordered was charred, which seems to be in right now. Although it tastes good, it comes with that, “I could do this myself at home” feeling. Like when you go to a modern art museum and see some splatter painted canvas roped off and wonder if someone would pay you a million quid to colour outside the lines. But of course, if I was to char dinner at home, it would be referred to as burned and met with a smile that said, at least you tried. When you go to a restaurant it’s on purpose and you pay more for it.

    For my main, I had the chicken ballotine, truffle and sweet corn. Although the portion was the smaller out of our mains, it was fantastic! I ordered it for the truffle, but it wasn’t a strong flavor in the dish. However, the sweet corn was served as a cream corn base, which was my favourite food growing up. It’s difficult to find here, so thank you Tom!

    The table gave a thumbs up for the lamb.

    And had a bite of hub’s veal chop, which was charred, but very tender and tasty.

    The cauliflower was great, and as you can see in my post about NAC here, it’s the new superfood and never in stock in the grocery store. Expect to find this on every menu in the near future, possibly usurping kale, but most likely broccoli or green beans will take the hit.

    My picture doesn’t do it justice. This was a huge portion compared to everything else we ordered.

    We ordered the chips without the foie gras because I hate foie gras. The portion was big enough to feed a family of four.

    We also had the sea bass, melon and almond as well as the scallops with pickles and grapefruit. It was too raw for me, but my friend seemed to enjoy it.

    Then came desserts! We ordered the peach soufflé to share because it was made with champagne and the doughnuts, because, doughnuts!

    The soufflé was ok. I’m not a huge fan, partly because it’s so high maintenance but this one had interesting ingredients. So if you’re into soufflés, I’d give it a shot.

    The doughnuts were awesome! Actually, they were little doughnut holes, but I like those even better. It was a bit of a pick and mix with cinnamon, salted caramel and apple. This is definitely a dessert you can share as it came with two of each kind, my favourite being the apple.


    What to wear: I had absolutely no idea on this one. The early reviews said it was low key, but it’s still a hot restaurant in Chelsea. Several women were dressed like Kim Kardashian (and actually quite a few men were dressed as Kanye), but others were very Kate Moss in jeans and a white shirt. I wore a white vest top and leather skirt to split the difference.

    Overall, if you can get a table, I highly recommend it, if only for the incredible space. I already have my next reservation booked! I’ve dined at both nearby The Ivy Chelsea Garden and Chiltern Firehouse recently, and I thought the food was comparable (if not a bit better at The Ivy because they have an incredible roasted cauliflower and stilton soup). Restaurant Ours should have all the bugs worked out soon and most people don’t go to a restaurant as ravenously hungry as I was.

    Restaurant Ours

    264 Brompton Road


    SW3 2AS

    020 71002200
    Restaurant Ours Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Square Meal

    Food, Unsolicited Advice

    7 Things You Need to Know Before Going To A Fancy Restaurant

    I grew up in a (relatively) small place where a fancy restaurant was The Olive Garden.  Now that I live in a big town (London) there have been a few times where I went to a fancy restaurant and had no idea how to behave myself.  This blog is to help you, dear reader, learn from (or live vicariously through) my mistakes.



    A sommelier is someone who picks out wine for you, not a derogatory term for someone from Somalia.  They usually come with a pin on their lapel that kind of looks like a grape.  This little tidbit was learned when dining at Chez Bruce (Michelin starred, I’ll explain that later) and my date offered to summon the ‘sommelier’ because I was having trouble with picking my starter, never mind the wine.  I accused him of being racist.  And then a random old French guy showed up and they started talking about dirt.  Lesson learned. 

    Michelin Stars
    When I first heard someone bragging that they’d gone to a three Michelin star restaurant as if Jimmy Choo had personally designed a shoe for them, I laughed audibly.  3 stars?  I knew of hot dog vendors in Piccadilly Circus that had a better rating than that.  But then it was made clear to me that it was something extra, like a gold star. Which, by the way, would be a much more accurate description to denote excellence.  Naming it after a tire company?  Not so much.  Anyway, 3 stars is as fancy as you get and there are only a handful in major cities.  1 star is much more common but still super fancy.  And, funny enough, you wont see the Michelin man on any menu in a Michelin starred restaurant.  There probably won’t even be prices on the menu for that matter. Just a bunch of things described as ‘pan seared’ (where else would you do it) and ‘corn fed’ (TMI).  


    Which brings me to my next point.  This meal will probably cost more than your rent or mortgage (if you’re a grown up).  Most of the fancy restaurants I’ve been in have separate menus for women that don’t have the prices on them.  It’s probably sexist or something, but lets be honest, if I knew I was scarfing down an appetizer that was more expensive than the shoes I was wearing, I would probably so nervous I’d pee myself. 
    Whatever you do, don’t order the Foie Gras, its obese bird liver and tastes like raw bacon.  Everything else will come looking funny.  I once had a meal come in the same plastic as a flower arrangement and then when they opened it the room was filled with smoke.  My boyfriend reassured me this was on purpose.  In my next blog I will be sharing my experience at a 3-starred restaurant in San Sebastian.  I got something that looked like a beach.  Be wary of prawn/shrimp etc. It will come as t did out of the ocean, and in real life prawns aren’t just those cute pink things you dip in cocktail sauce, they are the cockroaches of the sea and have, like, a million legs, antennae and beady eyes.  Consider yourself warned.  
    There is a lot of it and it will seem dented and chewed up, but that’s because it’s real silver and the way they look at it, the older the better.  You don’t need to save any cutlery for the next course; they bring you a new set every time.  But, cutlery is the best way to signal in a restaurant.  The way to tell them you are done with your meal is to put your cutlery together across the left side of the plate.  The only thing you really need to know is that the thing that looks like a spatula is for fish. 
    Don’t worry about the amount of food, no matter what, you will have too much.  I had a dinner in the middle of nowhere, France at a 3 starred restaurant and literally ate for 4 hours.  Like, actually put stuff in my mouth and chewed for 240 minutes.  I was STUFFED. Then we had a one-hour break and went to a 1 starred restaurant and ate for a further 4 hours.  But it’s not that you order lots.  Usually they have the option of a ‘tasting menu’ which means the chef decides.  There is usually lots of courses.  But even when you do a la carte (fancy French for picking what you want) you will still get these little surprises in between what you actually ordered.  Don’t worry, they’re free. 
    Dress Code
    Most people in there will be wearing obscure and expensive designers you’ve never heard of.  I just try to go in wearing clean clothes and come out in generally the same condition.  And if you have it, bring a nice bag.