The Ned was the biggest opening of 2017 and every month I would say to Andrea "we must go to The Ned!". Finally this dream came true! For a part of my Valentine's gift, Andrea treated me to a meal in one of The Ned's restaurants, Kaia.
Walking into the building is an experience in itself. The Ned was originally the Midland Bank that was shut down 8 years ago. When the owner of the incredible Soho House, Nick Jones, set foot in the bank he had a vision. The building now holds a hotel, multiple restaurants and spas. It is a hub for entertainment and decadence. Beautiful polished marble pillars hold the ceiling and low muted lights illuminate the entrance. It is like stepping back to the 20's. Pictures really don't do it justice, so just go and see for yourself.
The restaurant Kaia was situated at the back though an abundance of other restaurants which are sectioned off by leather bars. Having a quick glance at the menu beforehand, I knew I would devour everything on the menu but one thing in particular that I wanted to try was the poke bowls. Poke bowls are set to be a massive trend in food this year so thought I would get a head start!
The waiter told Andrea and I that if we were to order the other dishes on the menu it was advised to order 2-3per person. In the end, Andrea ordered the JFC Japanese Fried Chicken and grilled asparagus with sesame seeds with a honey dressing. Absolutely delicious! I have to say though - my poke bowl was incredible. I didn't really know what to expect apart from that it was like a well-put-together salad! The chef had advised that when you eat a poke bowl, you have to mix it all up and add all the sauces that come with it to get all the Asian flavours. As much as I wanted to keep it looking pretty, I did as I was told. What was incredible is that there were so many different flavours and textures all going on at once. The salmon was so soft and juicy which melted once in your mouth which juxtaposed the salmon caviar which when it popped released an intense salty flavour. The shards of seaweed were matched perfectly with the mango with balanced the palette. With the amount of ingredients in the bowl, I thought it was extremely well priced (£12) and surprisingly did fill me up. Not only did it taste out of this world, but I feel as though this restaurant focuses on the presentation of the dishes almost as much as the taste. I mean - look at that poke bowl! Instagram heaven! The white marble tables and brightly coloured dishes are what makes this restaurant stand out.
However, Andrea was still a little peckish, so we ordered a side of pork gyoza with a ponzu and wasabi sauce. They were SO good. Like little pillows of goodness, full of flavour and were the most authentic Japanese dumplings I have ever tasted.
I didn't want the date to end. I felt as though I was transported back to my favourite era, eating my favourite food and hearing jazz being played in the main entrance. My next goal would be to stay there and have the full ned experience. It seems to be the place where you can casually go for a drink or two and eat your way around the world with the different cuisines on offer.