Babylon

Restaurants , British Kensington
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11 user reviews)
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 (Jonathan Cosh of Visual Eye)
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Jonathan Cosh of Visual Eye
Venue says: "This festive season celebrate with your friends, family or colleagues and enjoy a winter feast in Babylon from £39.50 per person."

Just as Babylon’s hanging gardens were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Kensington’s rooftop gardens are among London’s most glorious follies. One hundred feet above the high street lurks 1.5 acres of themed parkland, complete with four flamingos and an air fleet of resident ducks, one of whom lands in a stream in full view of our window table. In such a setting, Richard Branson’s bright and breezy brasserie doesn’t have to go out of its way to pull in the crowds. And nor does it. The greeting was chilly; service was perfunctory and remote; and the food, while perfectly competent, did not deliver the quality or quantity that the steepish prices might suggest. A pressed mosaic of Devon Rose chicken, liver and aubergine terrine was gorgeous to look at, but served fridge-cold with a vapid garlic and parsley dressing, while a nicely simple mixed seafood grill was let down by mushy langoustine. A starter of barbecue asparagus had the flavour of the grill, but just four spears seemed mean, leaving it to a roast fillet of cod with gruyère and parsley crust and flaky ham hock – and the gardens - to save the night.

 

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Babylon says
Set high up on the seventh floor of The Roof Gardens, offering amazing views of London’s skyline, Babylon really is a cut above the rest.

Your taste buds will be thrilled by the menus. The award-winning food at Babylon is best described as contemporary-British and the menus change regularly to ensure only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used. If it’s just a drink you’re after you can also kick back on the heated Babylon terrace and enjoy a cocktail or two…

Babylon at The Roof Gardens is a sky-high venue. The memory of mouthwatering cuisine, exceptional service and spectacular views will stay with you long after you have left.
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Venue name: Babylon
Contact:
Address: 7th floor, The Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street
London
W8 5SA
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Sat. Dinner served 6.30-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Sunday lunch served 2-3:30pm.
Transport: Tube: High Street Kensington tube
Price: Main courses £18-£33. Set lunch (Mon-Fri) £24 2 courses, £28 3 courses; (Sat) £25 2 courses, £29 3 courses; (Sun) £27 2 courses, £30 3 courses.
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Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
Deon Pillay (theindependentfoodie)
tastemaker

From its majestic flamingos to the attentive unfaltering service, Babylon at the Kensington roof top garden does not disappoint. We opted to have the 3 course Sunday lunch menu for £35 which proved to be great value. Every course tantalised the tastebuds offering something unique and pleasurable. My starter of mushroom risotto was perfectly done and was certainly one of the best I have eaten. Amelia's soup went down a treat complimented by its mushroom topped focaccia type bread. Shoulder of suckling pig perfectly seasoned paired with a delicate apple purée and crispy crackling and seasonal veg. The vegetarian oyster mushrooms main was perfectly plated. We both opted for the poached pear with its delicate crumble, creme fresh ice cream, Fesh black berry and coulis. Heavenly!

Ann R

Babylon is 7 floors up above Kensington High Street and has great views.  Although it's drinks are expensive (cheapest prosecco is £46 a bottle!). It offers a varied 2 course lunch menu for £26 (or 3 courses for £28). My veggie main course of Deep Fried Courgette Flower was surpisingly delicious.  However the main attraction of Babylon is the 3 roof gardens.  The Spanish is based on The Alhambra and there is also the Tudor and the English Woodland.  These are not roof gardens just made up of colourful pots, some of the trees in the English Woodland are 75 years old! There are even flamingos!  This is a really great setting with great food, it is child friendly and the staff are lovely and, as long as you are not planning a very boozy meal, it is reasonable priced!

Chlo Fo
Tastemaker

Enter the doorway to this unassuming building and shoot on up to the seventh floor into an urban oasis. Babylon is set along a the length of the building, it's pretty long and narrow, which means everything is quite crammed in, but this lends itself well to creating a cosy, less formal ambiance. Service was top notch, my glass was regularly topped up by the stealth like waiter. As for the food, the presentation was some of the best I've seen. Annoyingly you can only order a minimum of two courses, which I guess is pretty standard for higher end restaurants, but a little frustrating if you don't have a big appetite. I opted for the two courses at £44 and I must say, despite not having been all that hungry, it was a feast for the eyes and belly and I swiftly gobbled the lot without complaint. The main of confit duck leg was sublime, perfectly cooked and presented. The highlight though was the dessert, a coffee and chocolate dacquoise, at the waiter's recommendation, the presentation was top notch and the taste even better. Babylon is a perfect date venue and has the option to continue drinking in the roof gardens on the floor below, thanks to the free passes you get given with your bill.

Jason G

Great food, staff and views. A must for a first date or a business lunch. Could have spent the whole day here...!

Bonnie W
Tastemaker

There are many more fancy restaurants in London that I would rather spend my money on. I came here for lunch with a friend and our server was very rude and inattentive. I'm not sure if it's because we were younger (both 24) but we were still paying the same extortionate price as everyone else to eat there. 

I had requested when I was booking to have a table outside and the man on the phone said he would make a note of it. When we arrived we were told that you couldn't eat your meal outside but they would try and keep a spot for us to have dessert and drinks out there after. Even though there were many tables free, we were not allowed to be moved outside later on. 

After lunch we looked around the rooftop garden which was nice, especially the Moroccan garden. We were told however that we were lucky to be able to go into the garden as it's normally booked for private events.

Overall, this is not the place to splurge on a nice meal out.

Cat

I booked a meal here for my boyfriend's birthday. We specifically booked here because I wanted to take him to the roof gardens for a drink after/during our meal and the website specifically states that dinners can go up to the garden if it isn't booked. I booked a month in advance and checked three times that the gardens would be open to visitors. I was assured each time that they were. When we arrived, we were told that the gardens were closed. Then the waiter told us he would check. After a period of time in which he did his best to avoid me, i went to the front desk staff to enquire. They told me that the gardens are not actually associated with Babylon and that there was no way I could have been told I could visit the gardens as they would have had the booking schedule more than a month in advance and would have known I couldn't visit when i made my booking. Essentially they were saying that they are using their affiliation with the gardens to try and con people in to visiting the restaurant. The fact is that they need to exploit their affiliation because the restaurant itself has the decor and feel of a restaurant at the holiday Inn. i.e. it's nothing special and not worth the prices they are charging. And, whilst I like efficient service, there is also something disconcerting about ordering and having your main meal arrive about 6 minutes later- definitely gives you the feeling they are in a hurry to get you out even though the restaurant is half empty. I was furious about being duped in to going here under the premise that we could see the gardens, and I couldn't possibly recommend this place. To their credit, the staff noticed that I had hardly eaten my main meal (which I couldn't stomach as it was the fishiest fish I've ever smelt and must have been on the turn) and they did take that item off the bill. To be honest though, this restaurant is scamming people. You'd be better off finding your local holiday inn and going there for dinner.

Jenna

We came to Babylon after seeing a deal on lastminute.com. The staff were pleasant and welcoming on arrival. The waiter took rather a long time to take our drink order and also to take the order for our food. Once the food arrived I thought the portions were overly small and tasted rather average. The deserts although were excellent. I don't know how much this restaurant would normally cost as we had a deal menu which didn't show normal prices but I would not return again having to pay full price. The views are nice but not worth paying over the odds on food and drink for. The waiting staff could of cracked a smile once in a while also. They were not rude or unhelpful at all but reminded me of robots which affected the atmosphere of the restaurant slightly. I'd say go to the Oxo tower brasserie instead, better food, views and staff!