Still, The Terrace is far from formal, kept light and airy by understated cream and grey decor, with the relaxed-but-stylish vibe to match. Service is as friendly as you’d expect from a small ‘local’ enterprise, but the food outstrips expectations of your average eatery just down the road. Non-residents would do well to seek out one of the handful of tables at this gem tucked into a quiet corner of Holland Street, as it serves probably the best midrange cuisine we’ve had in all of London.
The grub The menu reads like reams of others around the capital – pork belly with something pureed (celeriac, usually); lamb rump and a fancy-sounding accompaniment that’s essentially gravy … you know the drill. But the difference here is in the execution.
I’ve paid over £15 for decent but unmemorable meat and veg plenty of times in venues across the Big Smoke, but at The Terrace, every ingredient is cooked to its best. That can certainly be said of my rump of lamb, crispy lamb breast, champ mash, samphire and broad beans, a main which lives up to the expectations set by my starter of crab on toast with fennel and apple salad, the latter dish deftly sidestepping ‘alright’ for ‘outstanding’.
Sure, neither of these plates reinvent the wheel on paper, but they coalesce into perfection on the tongue. My lamb is plump and positively leaking rich flavour, while my date’s pan-fried cod with crispy goujon and pea shoot salad feels light but is heavy on taste.
A finale of apple tart, vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce is warm, more sweet than sour, and has us moaning in ecstasy – I recommend you have what we’re having.
Behind the bar Wine from £5/ £19.50 per glass/ bottle. Cocktails from £9.Bill please Starters from £7.50; mains from £16.50; desserts from £8 (or home-made ice cream £3 per scoop).
Verdict Who knew low-key dining could be so fine?
33C Holland Street, W8 4LX
Tube | High Street Kensington