Since moving to Holland Park, I have endeavoured to discover as many exciting bars, boutiques and restaurants as possible. Notting Hill Kitchen is perfectly located for Portobello Market trawlers or those perusing the boutiques on Westbourne Grove. A contemporary eatery offering Spanish and Portuguese delicacies, it is ideal for a late tapas lunch in summer or a glass of wine with friends on a Friday.
After a floral herb infused Honey and thyme whiskey sour cocktail in the bar, we got comfortable at one of the informal wooden tables ready to indulge in the modern Mediterranean cuisine. The bread was unexciting and a little dry but the thinly sliced Jamon Iberico and the Spanish cheeses were delicious and reminded me of a little tapas bar I stumbled across with friends in Alicante. The best bites though were the tasty little Ham croquetas, with molten cheese oozing out of the crunchy cases.
Main courses are classy and creative… the luxurious Free range chicken with langoustines layered with chorizo, avocado mousse, artichokes and viscaina sauce is presented artistically across the plate, a contrast of textures and creamy and salty flavours. The Seared beef tenderloin was my favourite, chunks of soft meat with a crisp edge, its woody rustic flavour marrying beautifully with the buttery truffled mash, sautéed mushrooms and fresh white asparagus. The food wasn’t fussy, but the quality was as high as you’d expect from a stuffier, smarter restaurant.
The wine selection here will leave you stumped, obscure varieties from idyllic sounding vineyards from Spain and Portugal. I left the decision to our chirpy waiter who chose a fruity, fresh Portuguese wine, Crasto Douro from 2012.The desserts looked beautiful but were slightly overcomplicated in flavour, the posh Portuguese tart would have been better just left alone without the fruit and cream and the Lemon cheesecake conflicted with the chocolate. Most of the attention and detail is given to the savoury courses, puddings seem to be a bit of an afterthought.
Food is pricey, but you’d expect it to be in this area of London. Many of the nearby restaurants exhibit style over substance, Notting Hill Kitchen offers a fresh concept for West Londoners to get their teeth into.
More information and book a table here: www.nottinghillkitchen.co.uk