Saturday, March 23, 2013

Natural Kitchen (London)

I find it pretty hard to eat well when I'm away for work. Between the lack of time, and the lack of inclination to go out and find something, I usually end up with hotel food. 

Natural Kitchen
Luckily, hotel food can sometimes be good. Natural Kitchen in Trinity Square, London isn't exactly a hotel restaurant, but it lies directly under the Hilton Doubletree in Tower Hill, so that surely counts? It serves up healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner to hungry hotel guests and workers in the nearby business district, and does it at a reasonable price. Their commitment to free-range ingredients, with a skew towards seasonal, organic and local as well ticks a box for me. 
Natural Kitchen
I dined here more than a few times, but quickly found what I liked in the menu. For dinner, the Big Salads were a brilliant combination of fresh greens and well-seasoned toppings. 

Fish is still my salad topping of choice, so I ordered the Scottish salmon fillet with a teriyaki glaze, mixed leaves, beetroot, flat leaf parsley, salad peppers, red onion and puy lentils.

Scottish Salmon Fillet Big Salad
The salmon had been cooked for slightly longer than I preferred, but this seems to be a common theme in UK restaurants unfortunately. Otherwise, the flavours all worked beautifully and made for an interesting, fresh salad.

My colleague also appreciated fish-topped salads so ordered the seared line-caught tuna steak with bean spouts, mixed leaves, new potatoes, green beans and sun-blush tomatoes

Tuna Steak Big Salad
I'm not sure what sun-blush tomatoes are but they definitely sounded good. The combination of ingredients was a very tasty one too. Seems like they have a knack of combining together good quality produce here. A salad lover will be happy indeed at Natural Kitchen with vegetarian, chicken and fishcake options also on the menu.

Breakfast at Natural Kitchen is a very different affair though. For starters, the milk that comes with tea orders arrives in a sweet little milk bottle. Adorable.

Natural Kitchen
Breakfast is simple with a range of egg dishes, toast, muesli and fry-up options available. My colleague likes his morning muesli and the standard order here is mixed berries with vanilla yoghurt & granola. He likes his with a few changes; (soy milk, no yogurt), but his evaluation of the quality of the dish changed every morning. 

Mixed Berries with Granola
The main reason is that the waitstaff, not the chef, makes this dish. With a different waiter every morning, the ratio of berries, to milk, to granola varied wildly. Still, it's a light and healthy, yet satisfying breakfast to kick off the day. 

I'm always after something more substantial though, and more often than not I ended up with the Eggs Royale with Scottish smoked salmon. 

Eggs Royale
Being this close to Scotland, the quality of the fish was suburb. I do love my salmon. The eggs were usually perfectly poached, and the hollandaise sauce was nicely tangy. Overall a great and reliable breakfast for me that keeps me going until whenever lunch may be. 

For Saturday breakfast before a long walk, I chose something even more filling - the full English breakfast.

NK Full English Breakfast
With two pork sausages, two rashers dry cure bacon, Black pudding, bubble & squeak, two eggs as you like, slow roast tomato, field mushroom & artisan toast with tea or coffee and a freshly squeezed juice, that's everything you'd want for breakfast (except for baked beans). The sausages in the UK are so much better than those in Australia in my opinion, and they certainly do a great black pudding. Bubble and squeak makes great use of potatoes (although a Swiss roesti will always trump other potato dishes) and the mushrooms are wondrously large. Can you tell I enjoyed my full breakfast? I guess they call it that because you feel very full afterwards as well.

A few visits to Natural Kitchen in Trinity Square have made up my mind: this place has brilliant food. The prices are reasonable, especially in the UK, and the service is friendly, although a little forgetful at times. The atmosphere is strange, with multiple dining areas combined in one huge space, but you can't have everything. I guess I'll stay in the same hotel next time I'm in London as I'm assured of being well fed. 

Natural Kitchen (Trinity Square)
7 Pepys St, London EC3N 4AF
Mon-Fri 8am-late, Sat-Sun 9am-late

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