Byron’s proper hamburgers return to High Street Kensington

Eagle-eyed (and hungry!) residents may have spotted the re-launch of Byron High Street Kensington last week, following a stylish new revamp of this, the first restaurant in the Byron chain which opened its doors way back in 2007.

Byron High Street Kensington

Re-opened on 1st September, the restaurant at 222 Kensington High Street takes its inspiration from its local surroundings and architecture – something of a Byron speciality as individuality is the key ingredient in all of their 52 locations. The Kensington branch now boasts a 1930s Deco-style exterior, with an interior that pays homage to European Modernism.

Come down to enjoy tasty burgers and cold craft beer whilst perched on the specially-selected vintage seating or one of the leather banquettes, surrounded by the work of illustrator Alec Doherty. His vibrant style will be familiar to Byron’s customers, given his previous work with the brand. In fact, it’s no surprise that Byron recently won a YCN (You Can Now) Illustration Award for its use of illustration – with work from including the work of Jean Jullien, Alec Doherty and others – across its branding.

Tom Byng, Byron’s founder, says:

“All our restaurants are dear to me, but our ‘Mothership’ at High Street Kensington is particularly close to my heart. When we started Byron, we wanted to make every restaurant unique, so we gave each one its own playing card. Fittingly, Kensington is the Queen of Hearts, and we’re reopening here just as we’ve completed our first Byron deck: 52 playing cards for 52 restaurants. We may have grown over the last few years but our vision has stayed the same – to serve consistently delicious proper hamburgers in beautiful, individual-designed restaurants. I couldn’t be more delighted to be celebrating where it all began in 2007.”

Byron High Street Kensington

To celebrate the re-launch, Byron High Street Kensington will be giving away free hamburgers between Monday 7th and Wednesday 16th September to Byron Club members who sign up and choose the HSK branch as their local Byron. Membership is free – to sign up, visit (Offer runs all day, Monday to Wednesdays only.)

For more on the re-launched Byron and all their other venues, please see, or check them out on Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram!

222 Kensington High Street
W8 7RG

OpenTable Gifts cards giveaway on Kensington High Street!

Restaurant booking website OpenTable – which features over 4,000 bookable restaurants – are launching a brand new gift card service, OpenTable Gifts…and they are giving away a number of cards to passers-by on Kensington High Street today, 5th December!

OpenTable Gifts is an instant gifting service that will suit everyone’s tastes, as you’re able to give the gift of a meal out. Gift givers can purchase a gift card with a set amount that can be spent at either a named restaurant, or at a restaurant of the gift receiver’s choice. OpenTable Gifts cards are accepted at top London restaurants such as SushiSamba, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Q Grill and Buddha Bar Restaurant. You can find out more information about the service and purchase a gift card at

If you’ve dined out in the last few years, I’m sure you’ve come across and used OpenTable’s excellent restaurant booking service – I know I certainly have! OpenTable currently seat more than 15 million diners per month via online bookings across approximately 32,000 restaurants; since launching in 1998, they’ve seated over 665 million diners around the world. They also power online reservations for nearly 600 establishments, including many of the Internet’s most popular and global brands.

OpenTable helps restaurant-goers see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus and other helpful information, as well as easily book a reservation – and they help personalise the whole process, meaning it couldn’t be simpler for diners. Their easy-to-use mobile apps mean you can now even make reservations on the go!

More on OpenTable can be found on their website, and do also look them up on Facebook and Twitter.

Make sure you pop down to Kensington High Street today, Friday 5th December to look out for the OpenTable team – you could be in with a chance of receiving a free gift card!

(Which you could of course use at one of the area’s top local eateries!)

Kensington: Dirty Bones Review

Kensington of course has some very fine eateries and cafes, everything from ultra-posh (as you’d probably expect) to places that are more casual and laid-back. It’s home to many a fine pub, as well, with more and more of these turning gastro – and providing a very reasonable dining experience indeed. But the proper ‘fun’ places are rather few and far between.

But at the start of this year, along came Dirty Bones. Located at the start of Kensington Church Street, this basement bar and restaurant certainly tries to amp up the fun, styling itself as something of a dive bar. (Luckily – I love dive bars!)

Dirty Bones Review
The Asian dog

The bones in the name refers to chicken, ribs and fish of course, although there’s dogs here too. Hot dogs, I mean. And, unusually, I’d always gotten the impression that Dirty Bones were far more famous for their hotdogs than their bones. (Though including ‘bones’ in the name seems to be a popular choice for restaurants in 2014.)

Early on a Tuesday evening, we descended into Dirty Bones to give it a whirl. The bar area you walk through first is supremely funk-ily decorated, with the actual restaurant area a little more muted. We were very well attended to, being asked multiple times whether we need help with the menu, or wanted any recommendations. Starting off with cocktails, with opted for a Dirty Bones Negroni, the Mutt’s Nutts (great name) and a Top Dog (…); cocktails are reasonably priced, by London standards, at around £8. My negroni was certainly well made, and the feedback from the other cocktail inbibers was positive too.

Keep with the dog theme for cocktails, we opted for three different dogs for food – one Brit Dog (with bacon, cheese and mustard), one Mexican (with pulled pork, salsa and guacamole) and an Asian (kimchi puree, wasabi mayo and crispy seaweed). And then, to round things off, three different sides – triple cooked fries, dirty fries (as the previous, but with chilli cheese and BBQ sauces on top) and a good ol’ mac ‘n’ cheese – that we wanted to share as one big pile in the middle of the table.

Oddly enough (especially for someone going to a hotdog restaurant), I’m not the biggest fan of hotdogs – but am a fan of dogs pilled high with delicious toppings. And given I’ve been on a bit of kimchi fix of late, the Asian dog was perfect for me. The actual kimchi flavour was pretty delicate and the wasabi mayo on the lighter end of the scale; the crispy seaweed gave each bite an unusual bit of texture. (I opted for the beef version – all hot dogs can be pork or beef.)

The dirty fries were insanely more-ish – their description on the menu makes them sound a bit over-the-top, but I couldn’t get enough of those bad boys. The naked version (i.e. ‘just’ triple-cooked chips) were equally tasty, and the small portion of mac ‘n’ cheese was as well. An unsual colour (more reddish than the usually cheesy yellow!), I can only assume there was some cayenne pepper or paprika in the mix somehow.

Dirty Bones Review
Mac ‘n’ cheese, dirty fries…and regular triple cooked fries to complete the set

My one main gripe was the price of the beer – £4.50 for the cheapest option, and that for a 330ml can! Sure, the price of a pint is expensive in London these days but £4.50 for roughly 3/4 of a pint sure is cheeky. (Or £5.50 for Brooklyn lager…)

All in all – bar the beer pricing – it’s a reasonably priced and rather fun place for some tasty ‘junk’ food…a welcome addition to the Kensington dining scene. And bar scene too – it’s a useful place to know about for some darn good cocktails. With names to giggle about.

Dirty Bones
20 Kensington Church Street
W8 4EP

Special Benihana 50th Anniversary offers for August

In celebration of their 50th anniversary (wow!), local favourite Benihana have a couple of very special offers for all diners at their Chelsea restaurant (and at their Piccadilly location too!) this August.

First up, there’s a £5 Beni-Platter Lunch that’s available Monday to Friday, 12pm to 3pm. That’s right – for just £5, you can enjoy a platter of prawn, chicken, beef, omelette rice, red pepper, onion, courgette and a cucumber roll with a choice of mustard, curry or Teriyaki sauce.

If you’re after a special offer for evening dining, look no further than the £50 8-course meal for two that’s available every Monday to Wednesday, 5.30pm to 10.30pm. For £50, you can each enjoy an eight-course meal which includes onion soup & Benihana salad with homemade ginger dressing to start; Teppan sushi (salmon, beef, eel); mixed tempura; prawn & vegetable appetisers; hibachi rice; chicken teriyaki; a main choice (per person) of sea bass with miso sauce or Hibachi steak with mushroom; and ice cream sponge cake as a dessert. Check out a selection of these items below!

Onion Soup
Benihana Onion Soup
Benihana Mixed Tempura
Mixed Tempura
Benihana Traditional Dinner - Hibachi Sirloin Steak
Traditional Dinner – Hibachi Sirloin Steak

Diners at both the Chelsea and Piccadilly restaurants can also enter a prize draw to win 5 x £100 vouchers for future Benihana visits!

Visit Benihana in August to take advantage of these offers and for all the delights of dining around a 360 degree Teppan grill with a private chef. If you’re never encountered this style of cooking and dining before – which is rather fun and theatrical (not to mention extremely tasty!) – then these special offers are the perfect time to try it out!

Note: Offers must be mentioned when booking.

More on Benihana and these special offers can be found at

Benihana Chelsea
77 King’s Road


Benihana Piccadilly
37 Sackville Street

Feng Sushi in Kensington introduces their Grab & Go takeaway range

Most of you Kensington locals will surely have taken a delivery of Feng Sushi at some point in their lives – I’m certainly no exception! From their 11-piece salmon box (which I keep all to myself and never share with anyone) to their seaweed salad, their Japanese fish and chips – I’ve certainly indulged a number of times of the years.

News reaches us that Feng Sushi have recently launched a number of takeaway options – their Grab & Go range – which is available at some of their branches including Kensington Church Street. So rather than calling up to arrange a delivery or pick-up, you can simply pop by and pick up one of their selection of sushi boxes and some of their hot mains  – perfect for lunch, or perhaps to share as a snack amongst your friends or colleagues. (Unless you’re like me and you don’t “do” sharing!)

Feng Sushi Kensington Church Street
Feng Sushi Kensington Church Street

I sampled one of their sushi boxes yesterday,  the salmon and avocado roll box. Ten very generously proportioned maki in brown rice made for a very filling meal although – as with so many of Feng Sushi’s options – one that’s pleasingly light too. The fish tasted extremely fresh; Feng Sushi’s salmon is sustainably sourced, as is all their fish – in this case from Loch Duart, Scotland . The heathy serving of edamame was a very welcome addition (why don’t more places include this in their sushi boxes?!) as a side snack which I had fully intended to “save for later” but unfortunately became far too more-ish for that to actually happen!

Feng Sushi Grab & Go
Salmon & Avocado Box
Feng Sushi Grab & Go
Tasty Salmon & Avocado Maki!

Priced at only £4.75, is a very reasonable option for a proper lunch choice that will certainly satisfy your hunger. There’s of course larger options too: the Salmon & Tuna Box featuring rolls and sashimi (£8.75 – pictured below) that’s one of their most popular boxes, or smaller items such as the soba noodle salad (£3.75). For those looking for something a little more warming – perhaps on a dreary London day – you can choose from Katsu Curry, Vegetarian Katsu Curry, Miso Salmon with Udon Noodles or the Tuna Hot Pot.

Feng Sushi Grab & Go
Salmon & Tuna Box

Based on my experience, I’d say that Feng Sushi’s takeaway sushi boxes easily match (actually, exceed!) any of the other takeaway options on the High Street. Their prices are very reasonable indeed, especially given the portion size and what’s included in each “box”.

I also sampled a portion of their katsu curry which, despite being just a taster size, was very nicely displayed with a snug ball of white rice, pickled ginger, katsu curry sauce and a slice of deep fried butternut squash on top. I’ve never actually tried a vegetarian katsu curry option, but the butternut squash was a very tasty option that went well together with the katsu curry sauce which was simply divine. Now that’s something I’ll certainly be coming back to.

If you’re hankering after some sushi or a hot Japanese dish today, why not pop in to Feng Sushi on Kensington Church Street and see what takeaway options they have in store?

Don’t forget that Feng Sushi have a location on Notting Hill Gate where their sushi Grab & Go options are also available.

Feng Sushi
24 Kensington Church Street
W8 4EP


101 Notting Hill Gate
W11 3JZ

Review: Bill’s in Kensington

Although Bill’s Restaurant opened in Kensington quite a few months ago, I only paid my first visit to it last week. And although this chain of restaurants seem to have popped up all over London in the last year or so (from never having heard of them before, I’m now seeing them everywhere!), it’s also my very first visit to a Bill’s ever.

Popping in on a Friday afternoon, I was pleased to finally be able to make it down. Bill’s in Kensington occupies a space within the Kensington Arcade collection of shops (and the Underground station of course) where, most recently, Kew used to be. Upon seeing the ‘coming soon’ hoardings, I remember wondering how they’d be able to fit in a full restaurant in the space; the answer is – they’ve done it well!

Bill’s comes across as a very friendly and relaxed kind of place. On the Friday afternoon that I visited, there were people having a merry champagne lunch (it is the Christmas season!), others enjoying tea and cake, and plenty of families with small babies. We turned up wanting a light but late lunch, and Bill’s certainly fits this purpose rather well.

Sitting in one of the booths towards the back of the restaurant, we settled in and got to choosing. I opted for the marinated chicken skewers, whilst my dining companion went for the classic Bill’s hamburger. Drinks wise, we kept it simple – just some tap water (and they thankfully they brought a bottle full) and some lemonade. I was a little surprised when rather then something quite basic I received a bottle of pink lemonade and a glass with cut strawberries in it, but hey – it tasted good!

Bill's in Kensington
Pink Lemonade!

The marinated chicken skewers were artfully presently on top of a bed of strikingly orange-coloured couscous, with three warm halves of pitta bread and a small dollop of tzatziki. The chicken was tender and tasty – its topping gave just the right hint of flavour without being too overpowering. And the chicken pieces were easy to take of the skewers (is chicken flying off a skewer anyone else’s fear or just mine?). I would have liked more of the couscous, and perhaps a bit more of the tzatziki too, as both of these seemed a little light, portion-wise, in comparison to the three skewers full of chicken. The pitta bread was lovely and fluffy and a great accompaniment to the whole plate.

Bill's in Kensington
Marinated chicken skewers
Bill's in Kensington
Bill’s Hamburger

My companion’s burger – set in a sesame bun with salad and mayo – was equally craftfully presented on a wooden board, with a small tin pot of skinny fries on the side. The burger did the trick as far as burgers go, although it’s perhaps not quite up to par to some of the speciality burger joints that have sprung up in London. The skinny fries were ridiculously more-ish, and only just surpassed by the sweet potato fries that we chose as another side to share. By this point, we were far too stuffed to contemplate dessert, although we certainly had a good time eye-ing up the choice of cakes on the menu!

Bill's in Kensington
Sweet potato fries

We thoroughly enjoyed our relaxed mid-afternoon meal, and I could certainly imagine coming back another time for some afternoon tea (whether the set option of sandwiches, cakes and scones, or just tea and a slice of cake) or for a lazy brunch – their breakfast choices are pretty tempting too.

A special mention must go to the friendly and helpful staff – service was quick and efficient, and always with a smile.

Bill’s is a welcome addition to the High Street, and I can certainly imagine that it will do well amongst locals and visitors alike.

Kensington Arcade
125 Kensington High Street
W8 5SF