It was never going to be easy to forget where 47 King Street West is, the clue’s in the name, but I didn’t realise it was in such a memorable location until I stepped round the corner to find a restaurant flanked by the ever popular San Carlo and Cicchetti. So plenty to live up to then.
Slipping inside, the place has a nicely relaxed feel, more like a cocktail bar than the stuffy fine dining experience you might expect when French cooking is involved. Chef Rod Francis has created a diverse selection of dishes, classics with a few curve balls thrown in. Staff were friendly and welcoming offering us plenty of time to look over a concise menu that nevertheless presented some difficult choices.
The drinks menu is pretty extensive, as expected with the prominent and well stocked bar at the restaurant entrance. I go for a daiquiri which is a little on the sweet side for me in fairness. To start we both opt for seafood, scallops come with a breadcrumbed chorizo cake and the plate is drizzled with coriander oil. It looks great but tastes even better, the shell fish is cooked to perfection, crispy edged but slightly under in the centre. Tuna carpaccio is similarly impressive, with a tasty and tart beetroot salsa. It’s seared and sliced, but not as finely as a beef carpaccio and the extra thickness offers the dish more ornateness. The presentation of both starters is spot on, elegant and enticing, and they taste as good as they look too.
I could quite happily have gone for anything from the main courses, everything sounded great, in the end I plumped for the rump of lamb and it proved to be a good decision. It came with twice cooked potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes and artichoke, like a posh Sunday lunch. The lamb was pink in the middle and everything was piled high in to a proper hearty portion. A peppery glass of malbec sat alongside nicely. My companion picked the jerk chicken which pulled no punches, as spicy and tangy as you’d find in any Caribbean place with fried plantain and sweet pomme puree to take the edge off. We share a side of the creamed cabbage with bacon, it’s a bit too creamy to finish but the mains were big enough to not be going hungry.
The dessert menu throws up another difficult choice with plenty of tempting options, a lack of decisiveness and our desire to try everything leads us to the assiette of sweet treats to share. A piece of black slate comes decorated with fresh fruit, mini chocolate crème brulee, Champagne jelly with mixed berries, homemade chocolate fudge, homemade shortbread cookies and a mini chocolate mousse. The creme brulee is the highlight for me, crispy caramelised sugar with a creamy centre and rich chocolate pieces. It’s all delicious though and a fitting end to some fantastic food.
It all adds up to a very impressive meal, more than worthy of its position amongst illustrious neighbours. Cracking food served with aplomb but not pretention, 47 King Street West hits all the right notes.