kitchen w8 restaurant

‘Tis the season: Kitchen W8 debuts menu dedicated to truffle

22 Nov 2022 | Updated on: 05 Dec 2022 |By Annabel Harrison

For the most decadent of winter comfort food, head to Kitchen W8 off High Street Ken to try Mark Kempson's seasonal truffle menu

The culinary delights of the summer are now a distant memory. Farewell, ciao, adios, arrivederci to light bites, delicate salads, edible flowers and decorative foam. As Londoners know only too well, November is cold, dark and often wet; this is when rich, hearty, comforting foods should take centre stage. Melted cheese and mash, pies and pasta – craved by many of us as autumn gives way to winter, and especially so when imbued with punchy seasonal flavours like pumpkin and truffle. Head chef Mark Kempson has put this distinctive ingredient at the heart of Kitchen W8’s seasonal Truffle Menu; catch it while you can – it ends this Sunday (27 November).

I arrive with high expectations. The Michelin-starred Kitchen W8 won the Best Restaurant Award in the national Eat Game Awards earlier this year and Kempson is renowned for his skill with both game and truffle, two of his favourite ingredients to cook with. Although you’ve missed the recent Game Menu, roast Yorkshire grouse and breast of partridge are still on W8’s a la carte menu. When I visit, on a predictably cold, dark and wet evening, it’s to try the Truffle Menu and Kitchen W8 is welcoming, warm and calm. Staff are supremely friendly, and relaxed in a way that makes me relax too (all of us remaining so when a fire alarm very briefly disrupts proceedings).

kitchen w8 truffle menu

The 200+ species of truffles, which grow in tree roots, are part of the fungi family and they’ve been prized among chefs for millennia for their unique – and, to many, delicious – taste. The truffles served at Kitchen W8 are sourced from Zak Frost at Wiltshire Truffles and Kempson has included not one but three varieties in his special truffle menu (£140 pp, and £190pp with matching wines).

For the first dish, small, hot churros are served with a generous sprinkling of aged parmesan, pickled walnut and autumn black truffle (tuber uncinatum, if you’re interested). It may not be the prettiest of dishes but it doesn’t matter in the least. This is food I want to eat right this second, not photograph from every angle while it goes cold. And it vanishes from my plate as fast as the next course: hand-rolled spaghetti with white Alba truffle (tuber magnatum pico), cheese and pepper that arrives next. Simple, indulgent and more-ish.


I don’t know much about cooking with truffles but Mark Kempson is making sure I do know they go very well with carbs, following the pasta with a perfect pie. It’s pumpkin, chanterelle and brown butter and usually this would be the star of the plate but it’s accompanied by a scene-stealing Périgord truffle (tuber melanosporum) mash. Our waiter smiles as she asks if we enjoyed it – two as good as licked clean plates in her hands tell her all she needs to know.

I don’t feel over-full yet – testament to Kempson’s skill in creating hearty portions that aren’t heavy. So more carbs, you say? Why ever not? To finish: warm rice pudding with roast pear, toasted hazelnuts and truffle honey. A hug in dessert form. I feel well looked after, well nourished and well and truly sated.

kitchen w8 truffle pasta

If you miss out on the truffle menu, Kempson always offers a seasonal six-course tasting menu (£95 pp), which I’m keen to come back for. And if you’re a wine connoisseur, visit to make the most of the fact that Kitchen W8 opens a different bottle or magnum of fine wine every week – such as Puligny Montrachet and Saint-Emilion – so you can try by the glass at cost price. On Sunday evenings, enjoy free corkage. In cold, dark times, what is better than comfort food at its finest, with a great glass of wine? Cheers!

Kitchen W8, 11-13 Abingdon Road, Kensington, W8 6AH,

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