Metro at The Levin, restaurant review: ‘Satisfying meal for less than the price of a Prada T-shirt’

at Metro

at Metro - Credit: Archant

The pub up the road from Harrods is selling a guest beer called Purple Reign.

Metro Restaurant at the Levin

Metro Restaurant at the Levin - Credit: Archant

No it’s not a reference to the recently deceased pint-sized popster but to the 90th birthday celebrations of our very own Queen.

Not far from Kensington Palace, this is a regally upmarket part of town - even if Mohamed Al-Fayed famously removed and burned the royal warrants that once adorned his shopping emporium.

I don’t know any Londoners who actually shop there, but the world’s wealthy and curious ensure the doors are ever revolving as they empty the shelves of absurdly expensive luxury brands.

Which makes it all the more welcome and suprising to find a good value eatery just around the corner, where you can take the weight off your Jimmy Choos and enjoy some British comfort food.

With its cosy nooks and colourful striped banquettes, the Metro is the basement restaurant for the Levin Hotel, an elegant, intimate 12-room boutique hotel (sister to the neighbouring Capital) which is owned by David Levin and daugther Kate.

Used by guests and non guests for breakfast, it serves an all-day menu including a pretty looking afternoon tea that chimes with the hotel’s 1930s elegance.

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But we were here to try the evening menu - there’s a bargain three course set meal with glass of wine for £22.50 - but even though we went off piste, the prices were only around £7 for a starter, £15 for a main and £5 for a pudding.

The house white and red hail from the Levins’ own Loire vineyards - the pick of the pair being the lovely crisp sauvignon blanc that paired well with my moreish starter of hot smoked salmon pate - a soft-textured mousse heaped onto crisp melba toasts that was simple and comforting.

My friend’s slow cooked pork belly with pickled apple was a hearty offering on a spring day but went down well, as did a confit of duck leg with mash and spring onions.

Attentive professional service spoke of the five star luxury upstairs, but Metro’s relaxed atmosphere made for an informally convivial evening.

My sirloin steak could have done with more bearnaise butter and was a fine if unexceptional piece of meat so I was kicking myself for not ordering Le Metro’s fish and chips which have received good reports.

Accomplished desserts however sent us out onto Knightsbridge’s rainsoaked streets with a smile on our faces.

My brownie with vanilla ice cream pulled off that difficult blend of lightness and chocolatey richness, and the friend’s very British bread and butter pudding with banana rum ice cream was almost his undoing after two meaty courses.

As we made our way back to the tube, Harrods was lit up like a green and gold Christmas tree, the windows glittering with impossibly unattainable goods.

It seemed hard to believe we’d gotten away with such a satisfying meal for less than the cost of a Prada T-shirt.

Metro at The Levin, 28 Basil Street, SW3. 0207 5896286.