NOTE: Early in 2015 it was announced that Soho Estates and Soho House plan to redevelop Kettner's with a public restaurant, champagne bar and 28 new bedrooms. This review was written before those plans were announced.
A Georgian-chic champagne bar with a restaurant next door that’s buzzing every night of the week, Kettner’s is a safe bet in Soho. The cocktail bar has lavish velvet curtains, plush seating and low-lit alcoves filled with the tinkle of laughter and champagne flutes, while the restaurant suits groups who want a bit of glamour and history (Oscar Wilde dined here), but don’t necessarily crave too many surprises on the menu.
Large windows and distressed white woodwork create a relaxed and upmarket feel, but the tables are close together and soft electro music keeps a modern edge. You get what you expect from a quality brasserie: steak cooked perfectly, chips triple fried, service a little flirty, and there’s always crème brûlée on the menu. A buffalo mozzarella starter came with a dense confit of tomatoes and deliciously sharp basil dressing, and this lightness was carried through to the salmon and prawn fish cakes served with buttery poached egg for mains.
Potato gratin was a little dry, but you could forgive the kitchen once you tasted the rich and cheddary cauliflower cheese. Mango and passion-fruit pavlova was, much like the rest of the meal, very well executed if a little predictable.