Restaurant: Kitchen Table, London W1 | Life and style | The Guardian
There are people who enjoy the whole chef’s table phenomenon, but I’m not one of them. It reminds me of rich Victorians peering at Bedlam inmates for sport – jammed among these people in a horseshoe of no escape is not my idea of fun. On one side of me is a man with BMW keys placed in front of him like the prelude to a spot of wife-swapping. He licks his plates, putting them up to his face and scouring them with a large tongue. Along from him is a trio of young, beautiful people who are almost entirely silent apart from the click and whirr of their cameras. To my left is a chap who orders a vast takeaway of hotdogs, “For dessert”.
The air reverberates with screeches of “Mugaritz” and “Brooklyn Fare” and “best scallops are from a little asador outside Bilbao“. This circle-jerk of oneupmanship makes me wish I could pull a battered black pudding out of my bag and poke it in their eyes. I feel sorry for Knappett, who introduces each course with bushy-tailed enthusiasm and real knowledge, having to perform for this self-obsessed, show-off audience of conspicuous consumers.
When he and Chang get a place with actual tables, I’ll be biting off hands for a booking. His cooking and her charm are a potent combination (although I wish she’d told me, when recommending a blissful, dry Szepsy Estate Furmint Tokaj, that it was £61). But until then, divine cooking or not, I’m out. Expensive, high-end food will always attract the tosserati, but this lot really are the sous-vided, thermomixed crème de la crème.