When I think of fancy hotels? I picture imposing marble interiors, suited bellboys pushing laden luggage trolleys, and just maybe, live music drifting through the air. In other words? I imagine The Ned. A five-star hotel in the heart of the City of London, this place needs little introduction. Opening back in 2017 with a raucous five-day bash attended by the who’s who of the city’s it crowd, the tone was set from the off. On the Saturday I headed to this swanky spot though, I wasn’t there for a night on the tiles - but bottomless brunch, Kaia-style.
One of the eight restaurants that this mega hotel-cum-private members club has to offer, Kaia promised Asian-Pacific dining washed down with bottomless cocktails. As far as weekend plans go? This one was on to a winner. Perching ourselves on two stools at Kaia’s long marble counter we were able to fully take in our surroundings. From sky-high ceilings to tiled floors and wood-panelled walls, the interiors had a certain Gringotts value to them. When the menus arrived in front of us however, we were forced to tear our eyes away from the grandeur and ready ourselves for a feast of epic proportions.
Usually on a menu there are a couple of things that take your fancy, right? Well, not Kaia. Reader, I wanted it ALL. From dumplings and crispy prawns, to bacon bao and teriyaki salmon, I was already mourning the dishes I knew I wouldn’t be able to sample. Luckily, right on cue my first glass of mango fizz arrived (£22 for two hours of bottomless), distracting me from the tough ordering decisions that lay ahead.
After much deliberation (and another glass of fizz) we took the plunge and ordered the steamed pork dumplings (£9) and the wagyu spring roll (£10) to kick off proceedings. While the dumplings had us battling chopsticks over the ginger ponzu, the giant spring roll missed the mark, the sweet soy easily overpowering the wagyu’s delicate taste - and at £10 a pop for a modestly-sized roll, we felt that we could have made a savvier choice.
Next up we moved onto the menu’s brunch plate section. Keen to taste as much as possible, we opted to order a sharing selection of small plates rather than any of the larger individual dishes. Our feast consisted of a sunny side up egg-topped teriyaki burger (£14), a katsu sandwich (£12), lamb cutlets (£22) and a side of tenderstem broccoli (£10). The lamb arrived beautifully garnished with delicate leaves and soaked in a sticky honey and soy glaze that has us licking our lips, and very nearly the plate. Cooked to perfection, the lamb was perfectly accompanied by the broccoli - a plate of greens so good that even my carnivorous boyfriend was blown-away (although proved a bit of a test to our chopstick skills).
As for the katsu sandwich? Proving that everything is better when placed between two slices of bread, a thin layer of panko-crusted pork was partnered with a thick slather of katsu sauce and crispy lettuce. Brunch Nirvana? I think I may have found it…
Stuffed to the max, and on our third glass of fizz already we decided to skip on the sweet, and instead try one of the many cocktails on offer. The habisikasi sour (£11) was a potent mix of Bombay Sapphire, Aperol, hibisco, citrus and egg white - tasting like a grown-up dib dab it was the perfect finish to a dreamy Saturday afternoon.
The DesignMyNight Digest
As someone who grew up on The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody I will never not be excited at the sight of a shiny hotel lobby and free mints. The Ned takes luxury to a whole new level though, from the live music the Insta-worthy loos and mega cocktails, if you want to spend a Saturday afternoon treating yourself, there really is no place better.
Kaia at The Ned can be found at 27 Poultry (EC2R 8AJ) and is open daily noon 'til 11pm. Looking for more brunch inspo? Check out our guide to London's best bottomless offerings here.