Sharing Plates Surrounded By Trees: We Reviewed Kensington's Italian Garden Restaurant

Impressive architecture, fancy shops and home to a lot of wealthy people - Como and Kensington may have more in common than you first thought, so it makes perfect sense that chic eatery Como Garden would be nestled just off of Kensington high street. And though it looks out over the bustling city rather than an idyllic lake, this gorgeous spot certainly gives luxurious holiday vibes.

This restaurant is aptly named, as it really did feel like stepping into a garden. Not only was there an entire tree growing through the centre of the intimate dining room, but the walls were also lined with foliage and fence-style latticed wooden paneling. The intimate atmosphere was further enhanced by low-hanging lights in uniquely gorgeous lampshades, as well as individual candlesticks on every table - which, although romantic, I was a little afraid of knocking off with the sheer amount of food that we ordered.

Como Garden Kensington Interiors | DesignMyNight

The name doesn't lie, this really is a garden and a restaurant all in one.

Like any good meal, we began with a glass of prosecco (£9 each) from the Veneto region, setting the mood for an evening of Italian delicacies. Dishes here are designed to be shared, arriving as and when they are ready, though our meal was split into three courses. We started off strong with a selection of antipasti, the first of which was arancini with parmesan and fontina (£6 per arancini). These were perfectly crisp on the outside, while they oozed creamy risotto rice and cheesy goodness as you bit into them. They paired nicely with our other choice of fried courgette (£6.85), finely sliced and coated in breadcrumbs, served with a dreamy pesto mayonnaise dip that I could have eaten with a spoon - and probably would have if I wasn't in public.

Before our mains arrived we tried out some of the signature cocktails on offer. I went for a 
Lago Amaranto (£13), blending gin with limoncello, blackberries, egg white and sugar to create a tart concoction with a pleasing purple colour to it. My boyfriend decided on the Como Fizz (£13) instead, featuring gin, basil, lemon, sugar and cucumber, creating both a herby and refreshing flavour with almost a neon green tint to the mixture.

Como Garden Kensington Food | DesignMyNight

Make sure to check out the Italian cocktails at Como Garden London.

Up next was a selection of incredible Italian eats from Como Garden's menu. From the meat section, my partner chose the beef carpaccio (£13), which was coated in generous lashings of parmesan and refreshing rocket leaves. This chilled dish was thinly sliced with a rich taste and beautifully soft texture, pairing well with our next choice of caponata (£11). This was possibly my favourite plate of all - an aubergine-based dish that was slow-fried in a flavourful tomato sauce, topped with roasted pine nuts that added a welcome crunch to the otherwise smooth blend.

Our other selections were the marinated chicken (£21.50), a tender cut of meat served on a bed of buttery mashed potatoes and drizzled in a creamy truffle sauce, and the complementary black truffle and 24-month parmesan tagliolini (£27). While the truffle flavour in this pasta was delicious, this is the only thing I wouldn't necessarily order again as I felt the cheese sauce was a little bland in comparison to our other dishes. That didn't matter though, as there was plenty of other food to get stuck into in this tapas-style meal. 

Como Garden Kensington Cocktails | DesignMyNight

Tapas, tagliolini and tiramisu - this place really has got it all.

We finished up this extensive selection with two sides: the homemade Italian bread (£5.50) and oven-roasted potatoes (£6.50). The bread was as fresh as it comes, cut into perfect dipping-sized slices with a spongy cente and a firm crust. The potatoes went equally well with the rest of our meal, beautifully fluffy in the middle while flaunting a crispy exterior.

In the much-needed break before dessert, we sampled a glass of their 2021 pinot grigio blush (£9.50 each), recommended to us from an extensive list of wines - this one had a crisp but slightly fruity taste which I would definitely drink again. Though we were pretty full at this point, we couldn't resist sharing a tiramisu (£8) for dessert. This was the ideal end to our meal; the coffee flavour was gorgeous and not too overpowering, while the cream on top was just the right level of sweetness.

The DesignMyNight Digest

Filled with greenery, Como Garden is truly a beautiful spot for dining in Kensington. Thanks to its location right in the heart of the area, this place is perfect for date nights or a decadent meal after a day of shopping. All of the plates here are designed to be shared (I would recommend between two and three per person), for a social dining experience that gives off Mediterranean vibes through and through.

  💰 The damage:  £168 for three drinks each and 9 small plates.

  📍  The location: 37-45 Kensington High Street, London W8 5ED.

  👌 Perfect for: A classy meal in Insta-worthy surrounds.

 ⭐ Need to know: Plates here are designed to be shared, so order a few each.


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