Kew Green is undergoing something of a renaissance with the recent refurbishments of its three surrounding pubs. Linnea is the last to join the set, but this is no ordinary restaurant.
Swedish born chef Jonas Karlsson has 20 years of experience behind the stove at top drawer London eateries, most notably Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor restaurant and Coq d’Argent. This, his first solo venture, mixes his Swedish heritage with modern European cuisine. Pared down Scandic-style décor is also mixed with formal yet friendly service. The food similarly seems simple on the menu, yet hides the complexities of the dishes – which use top level cooking skills learned through years of working with the best.
We were delighted by our amuse bouche, a simple smoked salmon mousse with dill and pickled cucumber which was fresh and delightfully light with the flavours perfectly complementing each other.
A starter of roasted scallops with Jerusalem artichokes and chicken skin (so naughty but so nice) saw scallops cooked to perfection – or as I like to say, merely frightened over the pan – alongside classic partners of the crispy skin and artichokes – with the flavours balancing superbly. The gravad beef with its horseradish snow and green beans was also delicious, a light but tasty dressing lifting the dish to more than the sum of its parts.
For mains we indulged in roasted sea bream with fennel and dill with hay infused sauce and braised pork belly with glazed onions and sweet and sour cabbage – a real nod to his Scandic influence, both of which were excellently executed.
Pud was little short of divine – the warm chocolate and hazelnut brownie, in itself a light little teaser, when mixed with its salted caramel custard sauce, instantly transformed into an indulgent delight.
Jonas is clearly a technically excellent chef with a great talent for balancing flavours to create light yet delicious dishes. It’s early days, but no doubt locals will be delighted to have such a creative culinary spirit on their doorsteps.
Dinner for 2 cost: Set menus cost £27.50 for two courses or £32.50 for three
What to eat: Try the gravad beef, traditional marinated beef made in a similar way to gravadlax, it tastes similar to bresaola and comes with horseradish ‘snow’!
What to know: The ‘home-made’ speciality breads are to die for
12 Kew Green, Richmond TW9 3BH; 020 8940 5696; linneakew.co.uk