Tom's Kitchen Somerset House

Price guide: Expensive

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Price guide: Expensive

Waffles with caramelised apple

By Jenni Muir, your London expert

I write for AA Travel Guides, Time Out. Read more
#63 of 115
expert-rated restaurants in London
Expert overall rating:4.0 out of 5
Food and drink:
3.8
3.8
Ambience:
4
4.0
Service:
3.5
3.5
Location:
4.5
4.5
Value for money:
3.3
3.3
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Foodies, Mature travellers, Chilling out, Great views / scenery, History, People watching, Sightseeing

Expert review of Tom's Kitchen Somerset House

A relaxed brasserie within a spectacular 18th century Neo-Classical building by the Thames.

I love Tom Aikens’ food – whether it’s lunch at his Chelsea fine dining restaurant or breakfast at his British-style brasseries, of which this is the latest. Prices can seem jaw-droppingly steep (one reason why I tend to come for brunch) but the standard of cooking usually justifies it. Some colleagues found this place disappointing when it first opened, but I only encountered a couple of errors, so I’ll be interested to hear of others’ experiences.

Food and drink: 

The core menu offers some bravely familiar dishes – steak sandwiches, shepherds pie, caesar salad, spaghetti with tomato sauce – that are several cuts above the norm and chicly presented. Ingredients come from first-rate suppliers and the sausages (from the organic Rhug estate in Wales) are particularly good. I reckon Tom’s blueberry pancakes are London’s best and was wowed by the lemon steamed pudding (steamed puds are best cooked and eaten at home, rather than in a restaurant). The bar turns out a heady, spice-packed bloody mary too, but the hot chocolate needs improvement.

Ambience: 

Relaxed, with a genteel vibe from the arched windows, cornices and high-backed Chesterfield-inspired booths. Arty tourists and gallery visitors make up most of the custom but expect upmarket skaters when the ice rink is open in winter.

Service: 

Friendly but unhurried and occasionally missing important details.

Location: 

On the river side of imposing Somerset House, just south of Covent Garden.

Price advice: 

Main courses are £13-£26.50, and desserts £7.50 on the lunch and dinner menu. The macaroni cheese is £14, yes, but I’ve never had better. Small breakfast items start at an approachable £3, and the full English is £12.50.

Other useful branches: 

Within Somerset House you’ll also find Tom’s Deli, which serves snacky food such as sandwiches, quiches, salads and smoothies. A temporary bar also runs on the terrace in summer, and a café by the skating rink in winter. The original Tom’s Kitchen is beloved of the well-heeled Chelsea Green locals, and Tom Aikens’ haute cuisine restaurant is just around the corner from it – see website for details.

More information on Tom's Kitchen Somerset House:

Price guide:
Expensive
Type:
Café, Restaurant, Takeaway
Food:
British, International, Modern, Traditional
Address:
Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA
Telephone:
020 7845 4646
Website:
http://www.tomskitchen.co.uk/somersethouse/
Serves:
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat 10am-4pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun 10am-4pm.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Suggested

Have you been to Tom's Kitchen Somerset House? Would you recommended it?