You know that noise you make when a last minute goal goes in? That one that sounds like a mating scene from Planet Earth? That’s pure joy. And you know that weird head nod you do when Le Freak comes on shuffle? That’s pure joy as well.
If a restaurant makes you have a moment like this once then it’s pretty good going. Twice and it’s a go-to. More than that, and you’re onto something special. Kitty Fisher’s falls into that last bracket.
Being at Kitty Fisher’s is a bit like being wrapped in a velvet blanket, being fed bouillabaisse from a silver spoon. It is, in restaurant form, Prince George’s upbringing. Everything, from the red velvet seats to the meat-and-two-veg mains, harrumphs over the top British decadence. It has an establishment feel because it’s in an establishment area. And it’s named after an 18th century prostitute that served members of the establishment. In theory that makes it easy to dislike, but that’s only in theory.
In reality, Kitty Fisher’s is serving some of London’s most simple sounding and tasty food. This is a meal full of looks, noises, and gestures of joy. What is essentially cheese on toast will have you nodding gormlessly at the person opposite you. Few restaurants have dishes that have this effect, but Kitty Fisher’s has it across their entire five section menu. If you’re not stunned into silence by the smoked eel risotto or lamb with garlic and onions, you’re just silently savouring it. Other dishes will cause your brain to recompute what the limitations of enjoyment are in a single mouthful. If vodka is the only potato product that’s turned you into a confused and jabbering mess, then you haven’t tried the crispy potatoes here. So crispy but so soft. So soft but so crispy. How? What? Give me another one.
You know that feeling you’d get as a kid, eating your favourite sweet? That’s what you’ll get after your first bite of the strawberry and ice cream dessert here. It’s pure, unadulterated, playground joy. That’s not the sort of feeling you’d expect to get looking at Kitty Fisher’s on first glance, but don’t let appearances fool you. You come here to have an occasion in, to be a bit over the top in, and most importantly, to enjoy yourself in.
Ham Hock Croquettes And Piccalilli
Like the best M&S Christmas party snacks ever. You’ll probably want to eat 15-20 of them.
Welsh Rarebit And Lomo
Perhaps the finest (edible) triptych ever created. And no, your cheese on toast won’t taste the same if you cut it up into squares.
Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese And Walnut Ketchup
Some things just work. Beetroot and goat’s cheese is one of them. Beetroot, goat’s cheese, and our mouths is another.
Smoked Eel, Parsley Risotto, Leek And Egg Yolk
There are some things you can imagine eating in any state, anywhere. Happy or unhappy. Rain or shine. A hug of a bowl of food.
Iberico Presa, Carrots And Mustard
A fine bit of meat and veg, but it felt a little rich by the end.
Smoked Eel Terrine
This is like one of the first two people you approach to talk to at a party. It’s good looking, nice, but pales in comparison to others you’ll meet later on.
Cod And Cabbage
‘Cod and cabbage, cod and cabbage, they go together like horse and carriage’. These are, in fact, the lyrics Frank Sinatra meant to sing.
Lamb, Wild Garlic And Onions
The sort of thing that somebody old would call ‘a proper plate of food’. Meaning that it has meat, vegetables, and gravy on it. But the point should be about how properly delicious it is. A plate licker.
In the future there will be diagrams of these in textbooks to demonstrate how humans achieved structural and flavour perfection in potato form.
A saucy and charred bit of veg. Not essential (like the potatoes), but still tasty.
Chocolate, Malt Ice Cream, Stout Mousse
If a chocolate cloud rained Guinness onto a field of barley, this is the mushroom-looking thing that would grow. And we would eat it all.
Wild Strawberry And Hay Ice Cream
The sort of dessert that ruins all other desserts. Nothing will ever be the same. That’s what you’ll say to your grandchild on your lap as you tell them about this dessert.