Pre-Theatre Dinner, Leicester Square Kitchen

We’ve just returned from our 2nd visit to Leicester Square Kitchen, which has recently rapidly and steadily climbed to #12 out of 22,784 Restaurants in London on Tripadvisor, and rightly so. What a delight it was!

The set menu contains 12 Mexican and Peruvian small plates to choose from. On the advertising boards next to the entrance it is being advertised as pre-theatre deal, valid until 6:30pm, but in reality and in line with what it says on their website, it is simply their standard set menu, available every day for lunch or dinner. (Their A La Carte menu overlaps to some extent, but has plenty more on offer, including steaks, lamb cutlets, and seabass ceviche.) The 12 small plates are split into groups of four and you can choose one out of each group for your 3-course dinner for £20, which is what we did, or additionally choose a dessert, if you go for the 4-course deal for £25.

We opted for smoked tuna with tequila lime mustard tostada, tomato ceviche, black lime and cilantro chicken skewers, Mexican matchstick chicken with habanero, Black-Pearl peppered calamari with tequila lime sauce, and stone bass with crushed Andean chilli lime sea salt.

The first dishes arrived after less than ten minutes, and another five minutes later we had all six of them sitting there in front of us on our table. My wife and I both agreed that all of the dishes were absolutely delicious, my wife found some of them a tad too spicy and too salty, but in my mind they were all prepared to perfection. One of the best meals we’ve had in London. Ever. We’ve certainly had more sophisticated food, more innovative food, more interesting food, but with this meal the taste buds were simply screaming in bliss, it was just so outrageously tasty.

The raw tuna cubes had been seared for a few seconds, giving some of them a thin fried surface on some sides, and the tequila lime mustard mix went extremely well with them. Not surprisingly, the tostadas were a bit soggy from the liquid, but that’s fine in our book. The tomato ceviche with both red and green tomatoes and plenty of bits of raw red onion certainly worked its magic on us.

The chicken skewers were culinary madness on a stick. I’m convinced I never had any better ones.

The Mexican matchstick chicken with habanero was a true delight. I’m normally not big on chicken wings, but boy were they good.

My highlight was definitely the Black-Pearl peppered calamari with tequila lime sauce. When I grew up in Germany, my parents regularly took us kids to Italy for long summer holidays and for two weeks or more my diet only varied between pizza and calamari. Until today, I had never encountered calamari quite as sensational as the ones I had enjoyed during my childhood. I loved everything about this dish, and the sauce nearly blew my brains out.

The stone bass with crushed Andean chilli lime sea salt left nothing wanting too, and what a generous portion it was! My wife felt that the skin was a bit too oily for her liking, but I happily finished the skin on her half of the portion.

  

Not least of all, the service was impeccable, professional, very but not overly friendly, attentive but never intrusive. The indoor dining facilities have a pleasant ambience. We sat outside and enjoyed the view towards one of the cinemas, where a world premiere of some Hollywood blockbuster was just about to take place.

We had previously also tried out their breakfast deal, which comes at £24 and is valid all week. The deal includes all you can eat from the buffets plus one A La Carte breakfast dish, as many coffees as you like, and as many of the buffet fruit juices as you please. The buffet was better than nearly any buffet I’ve recently seen, with literally no wish unfulfilled. Looking for English breakfast? Knock yourself out. Or perhaps some Peruvian superfoods with one of various varieties of yoghurt? Here you are, Sir. Croissants and plenty of other pastry, smoked salmon, cold cuts, a small but delicious cheese platter, you name it. Not to mention the beautiful selection of fruit and cereals, and I’m sure I forgot to mention half the things on offer.

My wife and I were joking that we should sell our flat and move closer to the Kitchen. Probably not quite, but we’ll definitely become regulars! 5.00 out of 5.00 on any scale.

For another restaurant review click here for Ekeberg Restaurant in Oslo.

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