We came here for our first anniversary weekend and although we enjoyed ourselves, I do not think that The Kitchin matches Number One at The Balmoral in any shape or form. The restaurant itself is not as intimate and operates more like a factory floor workshop with each of the tables. What I didn't like was that we did not have a dedicated Sommelier-different waiters and waitresses brought the wine and, although the selection was lovely, it did not feel like the knowledge was learned: more rehearsed. We also had 3-4 different people serving us food.
The pea veloute and the razor clam dish was simply superb but I was not sure about the Pigs head (reminded me of the Lord of the Flies) or the veal sweetbreads. We also felt that the lobster (for an added supplement) had too much going on which overpowered the anticipated delicacy of the dish. In our opinion, all it needed was the escargot butter. I also think I would have preferred if the waitress asked if I wanted to see the lobster before it was cooked. This was done automatically and I personally found it quite disconcerting. We also felt the portions were huge for a tasting menu and we were simply too full-uncomfortably so. The other dampener was that we had no real discussion about our cheese course-we weren't asked what we liked or given much of an explanation about the cheeses that were chosen for us.
Overall we did have a lovely evening and we are glad we went but it was nothing special. We much preferred 21212 or our favourite, Number One at The Balmoral.
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