A bit of a digression from the usual fare as the biggest fan of a mint-green trouser suit Rebecca (from Official Theatre) organised a rather splendiferous occasion for some of the #LDNTheatreBloggers to try their hand at a bit of food reviewing. Keen to turn my hand to a serious appraisal of some culinary delights (who am I kidding, free food!), I was more than happy to accept the invitation to sample the pre-theatre menu at Kettners, on Romilly Street in Soho, just behind the Palace Theatre.
The pre- (and post-) theatre menu changes on a daily basis but you can see above what was on offer on Monday, reflecting the modern European bent to the cooking here. Two courses will set you back a reasonable £21.50, if you've got the time, three courses is £24.40 - the menu is served Monday-Saturday 5pm - 6.30pm and 10pm until close, giving you plenty of time to get to any of many nearby theatres.
I went for the smoked chicken and bacon salad for my starter - satisfyingly crisp shards of bacon on top a surprisingly generous portion of shredded chicken which was beautifully moist and flavoursome. A selection of mixed leaves, a fresh tomato salsa and an olive oil-heavy dressing completed the plate which although deceptively simple, was most tasty.
And for my main course, I opted for the pan-fried sea trout. Though I love fish, I rarely cook it at home though I'll be trying to emulate the chef here as the combination of crispy skin and succulent flesh here was spot on. The healthy portion of sundried tomato risotto underneath maybe didn't quite have enough flavour of its own, it needed the olive tapenade dressing to give it the necessary kick. All three elements together worked very well though to deliver a satisfying plate of food.
Service was friendly and quick, the dining room where we ate had an appealing buzz to it - even without our noisy table with bonus magician no less! - and with the lovely Sarah and Hannah hosting the occasion and filling us in on the extraordinarily rich history of this Soho institution, it was a cracking evening. Kettners has been feeding Soho since 1867 and on this evidence, it is still going strong - recommended for the slightly classier pre-theatre dining option.
Pre-theatre and Post theatre menu
2 courses £21.50
3 courses £24.40
All prices are inclusive of VAT. A discretionary 12.5% service charge will be added to the bill.
Monday to Saturday 5.00pm – 6.30 pm and 10.00 pm to close
The Champagne Bar
Happy hour – Sunday to Thursday 4.00pm to 6.30 pm