Aladino’s in Kensington
Aladino’s elegant restaurant seamlessly couples homely hospitality and fine dining. Quietly tucked away on Kensington Church Street, this Egyptian establishment brings Alexandrian cuisine to London with undeniable panache.
Aladino’s first restaurant was in Egypt: a palatial restaurant of banqueting tables skirting the beach and serving the finest food throughout the night. This spirit is brought to Kensington via the plate, but the atmosphere here is refined and tranquil. The serving staff are attentive and helpful, the menu fulsome and scintillating, and the wine list enormous. Every part of the experience is a true treat, and the wine is phenomenal.
First to arrive is the complimentary flatbread, hummus and baba ganoush. The speed with which these are devoured does justice to how delicious they are. The flatbread is scattered with cumin seeds and served warm so that it is tantalisingly fragrant as it crosses the room. Almost as soon as the bread is finished, the starters arrive. The battered king prawns (with Bois boudran sauce, gem lettuce, and fennel) are exquisite, and receiving four whole king prawns for a starter is a revelation. The butternut squash with gorgonzola and poached fig is equally as scrumptious.
The mains arrive: Traditional Oven-Baked Okra (Bamia) in garlic and coriander sauce and Confit Leg of Duck with mustard fruits and celeriac rémoulade. To accompany them there are baby pitta bread – the softest that ever existed. The okra is served in its own little ramekin whilst the duck leg sits proudly on top of its fruits and celeriac. The course is satisfying but leaves room for a pudding.
The Om Ali is a milk pudding encased in filo pastry and topped with toasted almonds. It is finely spiced and silky, and plenty big enough for two. The facing page to the desserts page in the menu gives a charming little potted history to accompany these traditional Alexandrian dishes.
Beautifully presented, generously portioned, elegantly served and, for the quality of the food, inexpensive, Aladino’s will become one of London’s best loved restaurants.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮