Tom's Kitchen Somerset House

Address: Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 7845 4646

- Expensive

4

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
3.8
90%
Service
3.5
90%
Food and drink
3.8
90%
Value for money
3.3
90%
Ambience
4
90%
Location
4.5
90%

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.

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.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Foodies
  • Mature travellers
  • Great views / scenery
  • People watching
  • Sightseeing
  • Chilling out
  • History

Details