I love my food with a passion that got ingrained in me by my parents, who started taking me out with them from a very early age, so I do tend to judge the place on the quality of food and lately in London one gets more average meals than inspiring ones but a family Saturday lunch in Chelsea last weekend, at the place called Baity Kitchen put a mouthwatering stop to that !
Saturday is always a good day, as far as I am concerned, to do things together with the loved ones and a chance to go to a nice, relaxed place for a great meal. After I had my hair cut, we wondered down Walton street, which is a nice, quirky combination of fashion, art, interior decoration, beauty and now food, with the opening of Baity kitchen by a very talented chef Joudie Kalla-Anagnou.
I have popped into this pretty cafe/eatery a few times before for my personal addiction-green tea matcha cupcakes and coffee but never had a chance to sit down for a meal.
So, it’s early afternoon and the place is really, really busy. People coming in, people looking in to come in. I thought there would be no chance to sit down but we were told yes, if you wait a little bit, we will get you a table-a hint, have cute kids and put them in front of you, or so I would think, wink, wink.
The place itself is small, with the counter full of delicious and freshly prepared salads, pastas, lasagnas, marinated poussins, cakes-the selection is so mouthwatering, you almost gulp. There is a high table where you can sit down on your own or with a friend, if you are in a hurry and want to grab a quick bite to eat and a few tables of various sizes in the back, overlooking a pretty terrace with young trees and bulbs waiting to burst into colour.
We ended up waiting for 20 minutes or so, but it was a pleasant wait, looking and choosing the food that we were going to order-the longer you wait, the more you want but throughout all this time staff came up to us with updates, smiling and a happy banter filling up the air.
Joudie, a pretty almond eyed young woman and a head chef, runs around, talking to staff and customers, checking on the food and smiling that little smile that only happy, fulfilled people seem to posses.
And then we were sat down and the feast began. My son had a delicious salmon quiche which we called ‘pizza’ to divert his attention, bringing Joudie in to be on our side and call it pizza too, while we started with goat cheese salad, which I ate and though I died and gone to heaven-yes, THAT GOOD, feta cheese surrounded by breadcrumbs and drizzled with pesto bursting with flavour and a beautifully sweet poached pear on the side-one word for it- ‘yum’!!! We also shared honey roasted vegetables and my husband had a large roasted pepper filled with rice and other ingredients which made him smile as he was eating it and then I just had to have one of the beautifully crisp lady marmalade raspberry tarts which I saw on the counter earlier and which had the perfect crust and cream filling-crispness and sweetness and a slight raspberry tang-what more would a girl want?
We were surrounded by couples in the beginning of romance, limbs intertwined, groups of girlfriends laughing and catching up, and in that happy rumble the staff dips in and out, cleaning the tables, bringing the food and smiling happy smiles the likes of which I haven’t seen in cafes for a while-genuine smiles that envelope you hug-like.
The bill arrived, my boys went to the bathroom and I to pay and then we wondered out in the cold air, happy and sated, breathing Chelsea air and already planning to come back to Baity Kitchen. And when I came home and checked the receipt I realised that we were given a 20% discount for no obvious reason-happy staff and inspirational lady chef make a perfect combination and they treat you and the food that they serve you with love. I am already making plans to go there again, hopefully to have a chat with Joudie in part 2 to follow……