Caramel Restaurant – Slick & Smooth in South Ken
May 5, 2018
I’m still dreaming about TNT Shrimp – the absolute must-have at Caramel which now occupies the space where I used to enjoy many a mid-week cocktail at La Brasserie.
Proudly situated in a prime location on the Brompton Road, Caramel is an American style all-day-dining concept, courtesy of the Caramel Group who already have a string of Middle Eastern restaurants to their name.
With a glossy facade and interiors from Dubai based company Bishop Design, I was pleased to see the bi-folding doors still a main feature – this really used to make La Brasserie come alive in summer with a Mediterranean feel as the restaurant spilled out onto the pavement.
Inside, there’s no hint of the old-school French eaterie with its red banquettes, checked tablecloths and dark wood. The restaurant has been transformed into a glittering art-deco lounge, with slick bar area, hexagonal booths, and the marble and black leather against gleaming gold that you’d expect to find in a private members club.
Edgar – Caramel’s new manager greeted us warmly as we slid into our spacious, yet intimate booth with a great view of the restaurant. Choosing from the cocktail list was a breeze – they all sounded so delicious, and after trying a few of them, I’m glad to report they’re as good as they look. The drink that created the best impression amongst our excitable group was definitely the ‘All Jack’d Up’ – a slick combination of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 infused with banana, creme de mure,plum bitters, maple syrup, egg white and lemon. We were so sold on this one, that we had an entire round for six of us!
Even though the menu is quite substantial, I was in doubt as to what to choose for my starter, having been recommended the TNT Shrimp (£19) by a number of people. They arrive in a head turning giant gold martini glass – and if that doesn’t get you talking, the taste of these battered beauties definitely will. Crisp and light, juicy and succulent and complimented by a to-die-for and I assume, a secret-recipe spicy Japanese mayo, I would’ve happily had these as a main too. You’re encouraged to share the starters as they’re quite big, but trust me, these, you won’t want to share!
My friends chose Lobster & Grilled Mango Tacos – a nice light option if you’re planning on a bigger main, and the Grilled Lamb Cutlets which had been marinated for a full ten hours for the ultimate hit in flavour.
Having already had a whiff of truffle from the kitchen, I had my heart set on the Truffled Penne Pasta (£16) for my main which came with a decadent parmigiana-reggiano sauce and plenty of strong black truffle – just how I like it. The boys in the group went for the manly option (!) – the Surf N Turf with a 100 gram Poached Lobster Thermidor and Mornay Sauce, complimented by a 180 gram UK Prime Filet Mignon with Herb Butter. ‘Perfect’ they both agreed.
With a selection of desserts on the menu, the Nutella Gnocci with Peanut Butter Coconut Cream Sauce (£9) sounded like the only way to end an amazing meal and we weren’t disappointed.
For a glamorous evening out in South Kensington with an incredible vibe, top notch food and killer cocktails, Caramel is the place to be and be seen. Watch out for the odd celeb too… although of course we didn’t tell you that…
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield