The Kensington Arms

Tucked away in a quiet residential corner of Redland is The Kensington Arms, a pub that is very popular with local residents and a growing reputation for its food. On any weekday evening, it is not uncommon to see a number of customers seated in outdoor terrace, making passers-by just a little curious about this little pub. Affectionately known as “The Kenny” in the area, the pub is a little hard to find for those unfamiliar with the area. Nonetheless, the pub’s good location with plenty of street parking available.

When you enter the pub, you will notice a light and refreshing décor that is consistent with the bar occupying one half of the premises with the dining room occupying the other. The dining room seating is comfortable and cosy with a view of the open kitchen in the rear.

The menu offers a good variety of Traditional British fare which is represented with some uncommon and enticing dishes, although we felt it could have benefited with a bit more choice. The staffs were friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic to make good recommendations on the seasonal specials.

The wine list had a good selection to choose from but as it was a Friday, I was feeling undecided between whether to have wine or beer. Our server recommended a guest seasonal beer called Belhaven Robert Burns Ale, which was dark, sweet, malty and almost toffee-like that was simply delightful.

For the starter, I chose Oxtail ravioli and the portion was surprisingly bigger than what I expected. The rich-flavoured oxtail was perfectly parcelled in the ravioli and the tasty filling with the freshly made pasta was a wonderful starter. The other starter was Salt Cod Brandade, this winter bistro special was warm and comforting with a creamy filling that was great with crusty bread.

For the main course, I had Slow Cooked Ox Cheek with Shallot, Mushroom and Bacon, which was well-presented and appetising. The Ox Cheek was meltingly tender with a rich, deep flavour. This classic combination worked really well, except that the sauce was a little salty. The other main course was a Traditional Fish Pie, which was a easy choice for a Friday evening. The pie was filled succulent pieces of salmon, haddock, scallops, prawns and lots of parsley, wrapped in a savoury cream sauce under a fluffy cloud of mash potatoes, served with steamed kale on the side to give it the perfect balance.

Originally, I was planning to finish the meal with a helping of dessert but the portion were so exceedingly generous, that I decided to try the sweets in my next visit. Overall, the dinner was excellent with great food and service, dinner for two at £52 was quite reasonable and the Kensington Arms is highly recommended. All aspects of food, drink, service were sincere and thoughtful and this is why we should continue to make extra effort in supporting local independent restaurants as oppose to commercial chains.

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