The affluent London borough of Kensington and Chelsea was originally a predominantly rural area. Now, it’s home to some of the city’s most expensive real estate with grand architecture bordering beautiful green squares, more than 30 museums and galleries, and, of course, Kensington Palace on the edge of Hyde Park. Officially created in 1965 (so not that long ago), it’s also a vibrant area packed with shopping opportunities, traditional pubs, modern bars, and myriad restaurants.
London’s foodie diversity is again demonstrated at The Bugis on Kensington’s Gloucester Road. Named after the famous shopping district of Bugis Street in Singapore, the restaurant celebrates authentic Singaporean, Malaysian, and Chinese cuisine. So it’s time for us to enjoy these exotic flavours without leaving home.
Recently redecorated, The Bugis is in the elegant Bailey’s Hotel just across the road from Gloucester Road tube station. It has an understatedly stylish, contemporary feel and huge windows looking out on the bustle of the street. And it has one of those menus that makes choosing difficult. Because you like the sound of everything. From starters like irresistible aromatic crispy duck with pancakes to the prettiest of dim sum baskets, a delightful soup selection, and tender chicken satay skewers we were off to a great start. The chicken satays are served on top of your own personal (beautifully decorated) baby barbecue, ensuring they remain warm and melt-in-the-mouth. What a lovely touch.
For mains, there are both seafood and meat sections serving delights like live lobster, scallops, and a seafood clay pot or poached Hainase chicken, slow-cooked pork, five-spice lamb and sizzling Angus beef in a black peppercorn sauce. There’s also a long list of vegetable and rice dishes and, of course specialties of the region like Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Nasi Lemak and Nasi Goreng. There’s no doubting you’re seriously spoilt for choice at The Bugis. The kind of place you’d like to regularly frequent with its friendly, efficient service and menu packed with dishes that will suit every taste. Love that a visit to South Kensington can transport you to the streets of Singapore to enjoy all its fabulous flavours.
Words by Sandy Cadiz-Smith