T&C Tests: Caramel, South Kensington
As the replacement to South Kensington’s long-standing favourite La Brasserie, Caramel had a lot to live up to. The Dubai-based restaurant group brings its characteristic glamour to the smart end of the Brompton Road – the interiors are dark and atmospheric, with golden glints courtesy of the dramatic, geometric bar, and buttery yellow banquettes for diners to sink into.
The bar is the focal point and rather fittingly, their range of cocktails is equally impressive, with a changing roster of house specials to tempt every palate. The menu is eclectic and designed for sharing, enabling you to share some nibbles if you’re dropping by for an after-work drink, but can just as easily be a starter.
The seared beef carpaccio, with shaved Parmesan, capers and truffle oil, was mouthwatering, as was the kale and quinoa salad, which came with a buttermilk dressing. But the most intriguing thing was the sashimi flat bread, which arrived looking like an exceedingly healthy pizza – a wafer thin base covered with pink slivers of sushi-grade tuna.
The mains menu is varied, catering for every penchant, from plates of pasta to filet mignon. Another option would be to choose the sliders – they are hearty enough to satiate the most dedicated of burger aficionados. We opted for the sea bass, which arrived topping a rock-shrimp risotto and bathed in a lobster broth, and an absolutely delicious miso-glazed black cod.
The puddings ranged from the traditional (apple tarte tatin) to the adventurous (Nutella gnocchi) but we were too stuffed for any of it. But we’ll be back – that black cod was too moreish to stay away for long.
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