Located just off the posh Walton Street on the boarder of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, Tartine is a pleasantly non-pretentious place in the heart of South Kensington. It has been around for almost 10Â years and it is understandable why.Tartine isÂ stylish, not budget breaking and friendly and offers a much needed contrast to the stuffy and overpriced etablissements its vicinity. And the food is lovely, the perfect place actually for a quick lunch.
A tartine is a French slice of bread. At Tartine, they use freshly baked French sourdough bread (PoilÃ¢ne) and serve it with a variety of toppings, either warm or cold. As someone who could never really get used to the bland and soggy English sandwich, I am very taken with both, tartine and Tartine.
Which tartine to go for is a hard choice to make. Morrocan lamb and harrisa maybe, or shredded duck with plum sauce?Â Or choose something more French like the Goat’s cheese and grilled vegetables?
We settled for the Italian option, Buffalo mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and pesto (9.50) served hot. I really enjoyed the crispy and warm bread with the melting buffalo mozzarella and plenty of flavoursome pesto.
The certainly more exciting choice was the beautiful Wild mushrooms, endive, parmesan and balsamic tartine (9.95). (Beautiful in taste I mean, not so much in looks…). The mushrooms were very well prepared and wonderfully complemented by the coarse shavings of parmesan.
All tartines are served with a salad on the side, you have to like places that almost force you to eat one of your five a day.
I tried one of the non-tartine dishes which was disappointing and is the reason I can’t give a green light. The Crayfish, Avocado and Tomato Salad (11.95) came with a rather disgusting cocktail sauce which drowned the lovely flavours of crayfish and avocado resulting in everything tasting of mayonnaise. Not good at all.
It would probably be a couple of pounds per tartine cheaper if Tartine was located somewhere in South London or the East End, but for South Kensington and considering the high quality of the ingredients, it doesn’t feel like a rip off at all. I am not fully convinced about the interior design though, it feels a bit cold and I wouldn’t want to eat my lunch on any of the small tables on the right (picture below)… my back hurts even looking at them…
- Food: 6.5/10
- Service: 8/10
- Ambiance: 5/10
- Value for money: 6/10
- Chances of returning: 10%
- Verdict: Stick to the tartines and you will have a very decent quick lunch. Wouldn’t go there for dinner though or any occasion where you might want to linger.