Italian Glitz at Kensington’s Grand Caffé Concerto
By Aku Fu
Having come under new Lebanese ownership, Caffé Concerto, although serving alcohol, now offers a fully Halal menu.
The good thing is that it has several branches – one in Westfield and another in Knightsbridge.
This one in Kensington has a cheesy, glitzy, glamorous almost 1920’s look, making you feel like you’re in a pricey place… which it is!
Although in truth, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, it’s just nice to see it all halal for once.
We went for steak and lobster to share, a steak ciabatta, and lamb shank on a bed of mash potato.
The small steak, although tender, was cold, and seemed cooked from frozen.
And I can’t say the lobster was any different either.
The sauces that came with it only added moisture. Conclusion: waste of 41 quid!
Both the above came with boring chips.
The lamb shank was more wholesome, and created many a pleasurable comment and gasp.
The thick and hearty mash potato rested in a generous moat of gravy alongside a tender falling-off-the-bone shank.
And yet, having had a hundred of these over the years, it was in the end just another.
If this, however, will be your first ever shank, then you won’t be disappointed, I think.
We also ordered the fresh inhouse lemon juice with mint, which, though very tangy and worth ordering, was not nearly worth the “5 dollar milkshake” it cost.
The ciabatta main was unceremoniously finished and sufficiently filled a hole – nothing more.
In hindsight, although I wish we had gone Italian, it does leave the option of trying for other things in the future.
But, I would say that the menu is too big and so doesn’t allow them to focus on quality over quantity.
The starters and drinks are very lack lustre, and I wasn’t too happy about the price tag either (that includes that annoying 12.5% discretionary service charge).
I think they do breakfast too. If so, then a fry up from here would be tempting.
All in all, this place is worth a visit, as well as an unwitting revisit, considering the large menu options for mains and dessert.
88 Kensington High Street
London, W8 4SG
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 7:30-23:00