Founded in the Pizza Express mould, Kettners has broken loose to include a champagne bar in this double-decker corner restaurant in the heart of Soho. ... More
Founded in the Pizza Express mould, Kettners has broken loose to include a champagne bar in this double-decker corner restaurant in the heart of Soho. Best described as wearily glamorous, it provides a rather apt ambience for the end-of-evening eaters who come for a frivolous flute of champagne with their perfect pizza or burger, to the tinkling accompaniment of a suited pianist on the grand in the corner. Old-style luxury, gilded ceilings and white linen tablecloths play host to a superbly satisfying menu, whose previous affiliation to Pizza Express shines through. This 'haute cuisine populaire' is fast food in all its finery and the location is spot on for hungry theatregoers.
Kettners is great for meeting friends after work, for a pre- or post-theatre drink and meal, or just for chilling out!
The champagne bar has a great selection, including a very reasonable house champagne. Value is good, but you can splash out a lot on a magnum of vintage bubbly if you want to. No children allowed in the champagne bar, but there is a "normal" lounge bar where they are allowed. You can still get the champagne there, too.
The restaurant area has an informal atmosphere in "grand" surroundings. The staff manage to combine friendliness with polite efficiency, in a style that suits me perfectly. The menu isn't huge but as far as I've tried and seen everything on it is good. The pizzas and burgers are great, not the cheapest in central London but excellent value.
I've never been hurried out of the dining room, which I find a relief when so many places make you feel they are desperate to get the next diners onto your table.
One warning - they don't take reservations. Best bet is to ask as you arrive what the wait time for a table is, put your name down if that's OK, then go and get at the bubbly! Sometimes there is no wait and you can either go straight to your table or hit the bar for a drink first - they're happy to accommodate you either way.
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