Naga, Kensington

The best thing about moving homes is discovering a new neighbourhood, and Holland Park has a lot to offer. Living in this area of West London definitely has its perks, with Notting Hill and Kensington so close there are always plenty of options for keen restaurant frequenters! I’d never heard of Naga, nor spotted it just off Kensington High Street, but I’m always enthusiastic to find somewhere new nearby.

This restaurant offers oriental food which I feel is best described as Vietnamese with a touch of Thai and hint of Chinese. Along with the new tofu bar (the first in London), Naga has a great deal to offer to Kensington and Chelsea residents, with food this good it is also worth travelling to visit.

Owner and general manager, Tri, was keen to select our meal and we were happy to oblige bewildered by the menu. Soon a bottle of Italian white wine was open and we enjoyed a glass while observing the jovial atmosphere of the place – it was full and buzzing on a Saturday night.

Silken tofu with ginger dressing, duck and watermelon salad, and chicken satay were up first: an array of fragrant, flavoursome food that tasted just as good as it looked. The satay was spicy and aromatic, and the salad was sensational but needed more duck meat and less coriander leaves! The tofu was less appealing to me but understandably successful thanks to the creamy consistency.

I don’t know how to describe the main course – which was all truly delicious – silence fell as we both dropped conversation in favour of food gobbling. Flash fried beef fillet with scallions is a must – juicy, high quality meat coated in a peppery sauce. My guest adored the indulgent slow-cooked pork belly with crackling and Asian mash – fatty but wonderful pork with a sweet sauce and aromatic mash bedding. Our mains were accompanied with light and delicious egg fried rice, and amazingly addictive garlic French beans which are apparently made from a very secret recipe.

Coconut ice-cream and chocolate fondant soothed the tastebuds after all the piquancy of the meal. We tried to work off some of the calories by strolling home through Holland Park, overhearing the end of the Bizet opera on the way.

More information here.

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