|Raymond Blanc's The Kings Head, Teddington|
The Kings Head is one of five pubs operated by the White Brasserie, a company owned by renowned chef Raymond Blanc. They pride themselves on having all the elements of a traditional pub, that also serves French brasserie food, all using the best possible ingredients.
When we arrived, it was a busy Friday night, the venue itself was packed. When you first walk in, there is a cosy bar with the restaurant area to the back.
UPDATED Feb 2016
|The Kings Head, Teddington|
The decor consisted of mauve painted walls and ceilings with heavy wooden furniture resembling an old antique style, not my fav, I really like new and modern decor. It certainly looked as though it could do with having a refurbish but looking by the amount of people that were in, and being constrained to a two hour dining slot, something tells me that its not about the environment - these folk are coming for something else, most probably the food. This a good sign.
|Baked Scottish Queen Scallops, The Kings Head Teddington|
The menu was a mix between good British pub grub (although something tells me that it would be more than that) and French bistro - a couple of Burgundian styled dishes were on the menu, Boeuf Bourguignon and escargot. I wasn't in the mood for stew or snails, not that I mind either, so instead I started with scallops followed with the roasted duck and my sidekick the Chic Geek, had a Spring inspired courses of pea risotto, roasted Nolkfolk quail with pate and golden sultanas.
|Spring Pea Risotto, The Kings Head, Teddington|
There was a 15 minute wait for the first course, not too bad and ample time to try the wine, a 2009 Rioja which I thought was very reasonably priced. The room does ten to be more on the noisy side, I felt like we'd turned up to a party where everyone was a few sheets to the wind already. It was quite loud, but I love a great atmosphere when dining, and there was definitely that.
|Roasted Norfolk Quail, The Kings Head, Teddington|
On with the first course! The scallops arrived. I've been soooooo used to having them served pan fried, flanked by delicately grilled vege with an equally ethereal sauce, but these came out covered in a breaded orange blanket in the shell, I thought 'what the hell?' Scallop Thermidor? This is surely the best way to ruin the subtle flavours. Well, I was quite simply wrong. I could still taste the fresh sea in the scallop and this topping of tomato, basil, garlic and butter worked incredibly well. It had diced potato and although the scallops were small, it was actually a very lively plate, an excellent dish despite my reservations. The Chic Geek was handed the risotto and it was immediately evident, they ARE using fresh produce. The vibrancy of the plate of fresh peas & courgette. It tasted clean, it tasted brand-new with sweet courgette and crisp radish. A nice saltiness from the parmesan and creaminess in the rice, perfect texture in the rice, a well executed risotto.
|Roasted Duck Breast and Confit Leg, The Kings Head, Teddington|
It didn't end there, the mains to follow were incredible. I had a truly classic French dish cooked perfectly. A duck l'orange with confit leg, potato dauphinoise and carrots. Still using excellently sourced produce, all the flavour of the duck had been retained in the meat which, by the way, was very dense in texture (excellent quality duck meat should have high density), and tender with plenty of moisture. The carrot was delicious, and the potatoes were sweet, with layer upon layer upon layer, maybe a thousand layers of each doused in cream with that hint of garlic. It was exactly how it should be, the best you could get outside of a Michelin restaurant. The quail equally as good with a delicious pate stuffing, the cabbage was sweet making it the best Spring dish this side of Richmond.
|Close Up Quail with Cabbage, Potato Dauphinoise - The Kings Head, Teddington|
We finished the meal with a lemon tart, nicely balanced mixture of sweet, sour and intense lemon flavour, again exactly how it should have been - did you read my review of Mash? How they managed to butcher a lemon meringue is beyond me.
As far as flavour goes, it's obvious that Raymond Blanc's Michelin touch is alive and well at The Kings Head. The skill these chef's are displaying in this pub is very high, taking the time to make sure the dish is executed right and not compromising on quality is key. They also do steak which seemed quite popular in the restaurant. All in all, excellent!
|The perfect Lemon Tart, The Kings Head|
Hello Again, Well I've been back to The Kings Head in Teddington and am pleased to report that the quality of food and menu is as good as always. Perfectly cooked produce - we had duck, steak and pork cheeks and saucisson starter that was delicious. They had perfectly executed the cheese and caramel souffle's, and the soup was a hit. I unfortunately I hated the potato dauphinoise - mine was cold, bland and the odd one out of all the dishes made and The Chic Geek was also disappointed in his. But despite that, the service was brilliant, good wine selection and all at a very reasonable price. I still think its one of the best in the area! Be looking forward to see what they rustle up when spring comes around and I might have to pop in for a burger and a beer as they looked fantastic!