Kona: The perfect restaurant for an elegant champagne toast
We had never visited Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences in London before, which are part of the Taj Hotel Group. So, when we went along to try the newest restaurant offering, Kona, we were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful courtyard setting. It provides a solace among the busy streets that surround Victoria and this outdoor terrace area seems to be a bit of a hidden secret. Aside from looking beautiful in the early evening spring sunlight, it must also provide guests with a wonderful place to relax during the summer months.
The alfresco setting actually reflects the theme of Kona, which is tucked inside the main building. The Southern European cuisine marries traditional cooking techniques from two of our favourite parts of the world, the Côte d’Azur and the coast of Liguria in Italy.
The sophisticated dining room makes Kona a great place to visit for a special occasion and the food certainly matches up to the elegant layout, evoking memories from many warm holidays in the South of France and Italy over the years. We tried a set menu, which made it possible to taste a wide range of dishes that use organic ingredients and were created by the chef Tom Cruise.
Highlights included signature dishes such as Lobster Bisque starring Dorset crab and radish and Foie Gras brioche with Damson plum and Marcona almonds. The delicate portions provided a mix of flavours that proved rich enough to satisfy the appetite, without spoiling the rest of the meal through fullness.
The Gloucestershire old spot pork belly served with spelt and rosemary crumb was probably one of the best courses; the meat was tender and perfectly cooked. That said the seafood main was also very impressive and boasted the delicious combination of seabass with calamari.
Just after the chocolate dessert arrived, Tom came out of the kitchen to meet with guests. This attention to detail and relationship with those enjoying his cuisine was much-appreciated and showed a very hospitable side of the elegant restaurant.
Talking of elegance, no dining experience is complete without mention of the bubbles and Laurent-Perrier is the house champagne with rose orderable by the glass. The champagne list is particularly notable with Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and Krug Rose also both available among a limited selection that has clearly focused on providing a premium list. Furthermore, there is a strong selection of vintage champagne available, including Louis Roederer Cristal 2014 and Krug Brut 1998. Needless to say, the wine options are also of a very high standard.
Kona is a welcome addition to the London dining scene and presents clientele with a discreet place to celebrate a special occasion. The gentle atmosphere and refined setting ensures that you can raise a glass of champagne and propose a toast in style.