- FOOD & DRINK
The Best Restaurants in Notting Hill
West is best
By | 3 weeks ago
With its pretty coloured streets, bohemian background and buzzing Portobello Market, Notting Hill has long been one of the city’s coolest areas. Its biggest claims to fame are hosting the world’s second largest carnival and acting as the setting for Richard Curtis’ iconic 1999 film – but in recent years, Notting Hill is becoming known for its thriving culinary scene, too. From the trendiest vegan restaurants in town to Michelin-starred establishments, here are the best restaurants in the city’s western shores.
Best Restaurants in Notting Hill
The Counter is a restaurant with grilling at its core: peek over your plate to see a beautiful cut of meat softly whispering above an open fire. It’s head chef Kemal Demirasal’s first UK opening, and it offers a trailblazing take on traditional cuisine from the region of Anatolia in south-east Turkey. There is such a lot to explore here that you could make an entire meal out of the starters and it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Plunge slivers of flatbread into warm hummus topped with dates and pastrami for a salty buzz, or tuck into lamb tartare finished with a hint of molasses and pepper paste. Meanwhile, the chocolate babaganoush is a dish that you’ll keep thinking about even before you’ve cleared your plate (and it’s so delicious that you will want to clear your plate). Many ingredients have been specially imported to guarantee that customers receive a true taste of Turkey, and every detail feels fresh and carefully considered. With an innovative menu and almost boundless choice, this place is truly something special.
108 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PS, thecounterlondon.com
Opened last year on Golborne Road is Caia, an unassuming wine bar and small plates restaurant serving seasonal dishes cooked over an open fire. Canadian-born head Chef Jessica Donovan draws on her experience cooking all over the globe to create an internationally inspired menu of punchy, flavoursome creations. It changes often, but there are some staples, like the crispy chicken skin with preserved lemon and nori emulsion, which you should definitely begin your meal with, alongside some seeded sourdough and crudites with labneh. Next, tuck into small plates like harissa spiced charred hispi cabbage, sirloin with bone marrow, mushroom skewers with Szechuan aioli and confit trout with smoked potato and watercress. Pair with wines from both established producers and exciting newbies, plus interesting cocktails like Pink Gloves: a mix of gin, Aperol, Maraschino Liqueur and berry essence. Caia is also a music hotspot, with an underground basement area complete with a jazzy record player.
46 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PR, caia.london
TBC (The Butter Club)
Famed Amsterdam duo Gabriël Verheij and Alexandre Scour are bringing their much-loved comfort food to London with TBC, which stands for The Butter Club. The pair met in the kitchen at Vanderveen in Amsterdam’s Oud-Zuid neighbourhood, and went on to host pop ups and residences all over the world before deciding to open their own venture on Notting Hill’s Goldborne Road. Dishes draw inspiration from all over the globe: there’s fried buttermilk chicken brioche feuilletée, fried oyster mushroom bao buns, and BBQ langoustines with Sichuan butter sauce, plus their signature square croissant creations, filled with the likes of cinnamon and pecan praline.
10 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PE, thebutterclub.co
Putting a fun twist on Indian dining is Empire Empire, a new venture from Gunpowder’s Harneet Baweja coming to Notting Hill this spring. Inspired by the 1970s Indian disco era, the restaurant will have a strong focus on music and art, with a custom-made Marshall jukebox and a soundtrack of Bollywood bangers, plus artworks from respected Indian artists, Jogen Chowdhury and Rabin Mondal lining the walls. Of course food will be fundamental too, with the menu predominantly inspired by the northwestern cuisines stretching across the old Punjab Empire, from Bihar across to Afghanistan. Dishes like the Lasooni Tangdi Kebab and Nizam Chicken Kebab will be made by slowly charring the meats over hot coals, alongside a showpiece signature of Lobster Dum Biriyani, complete with the crustacean’s head emerging from the pastry lid.
16 All Saints Road, London W11 1HH
Mexican meets Japanese at Los Mochis, perched a stone’s throw away from Notting Hill tube station. It has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite, with couples and groups of friends alike drawn in by low-lit, cool interiors and the promise of innovative, refined fusion bites. The Baja-Nihon menu merges the vibrance of Mexican cooking with the elegance and techniques of Japan, with small plates-style dining allowing you to try a bit of everything without getting too full. Miso cod is served in a choice of soft corn tortillas or lettuce wrap, alongside jalapeno, avocado and sweet potato crisps, for instance, and edamame beans are topped with chipotle chilli. There’s also an array of maki rolls, ceviches and tostadas, plus some wild cards like the Falafelito: fried chickpea falafels served with a truffle chilli sesame sauce. On the drinks side, Los Mochis has an impressive selection of small batch artisanal agaves alongside plenty of sakes and cocktails – the Pink Hot Chilli Paloma is our top pick.
2-4 Farmer St, London W8 7SN, losmochis.co.uk
Gold became an immediate hit after arriving in Notting Hill in 2019, with Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Jourdan Dunn and Lady Amelia Windsor all visiting within weeks of its launch. If you go there you’ll quickly see why: it’s an endlessly chic spot, designed to reflect the bohemian spirit of the area – think stripped back interiors exposing the shell of the building and a garden room filled with pretty trees and greenery. But it’s certainly not style over substance: the kitchen is headed up by ex-River Cafe chef Theo Hill, with an eclectic mix of modern European dishes alongside an equally cool cocktail list from Scout’s Matt Whiley and Rich Woods.
95-97 Portobello Rd, London W11 2QB, goldnottinghill.com
Farmacy is where all the trendiest veggies and vegans congregate – thanks to the cool interiors as well as the wonderful food on offer. It’s the brainchild of Camilla Fayed, who worked with experts to develop a menu of nourishing, healthy dishes that are also mighty tasty. The guacamole is one of the best in town and should be ordered as a side no matter what you’re eating, and is especially good when accompanying the sweet potato falafel starter. The Mexican Bowl is a standout with its bright purple potatoes and ‘sour cream’, while the burger is a classic, made from millet, black beans and mushrooms. Pair with a few cocktails (with added medicinal benefits, or cannabidiol) from the Alchemy Bar, and save space for the raw chocolate tart. With no refined sugars, additives or chemicals, you can indulge guilt-free.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH, farmacylondon.com
Suzi Tros is a Greek-inspired bistro from Adrien Carre and Christina Mouratoglou, the husband and wife duo behind west London favourite Mazi. Named after a character in Greek film I Parisiana, Suzi Tros translates as ‘Suzi, you eat’, which is reflected in the warm, fun feel of the restaurant. Located just down the road from its sister restaurant in the heart of Hillgate Village, this charming spot offers a selection of small plates, taking inspiration from the small eateries of Christina’s hometown of Thessaloniki. Think prawn tartare, smoked aubergine with tahini, grilled calamari, and meatballs with tzatziki, washed down with Greek wines and beers.
18 Hillgate St, London W8 7SR, suzitros.com
With two Michelin stars to its name, as well as a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, The Ledbury has gained worldwide acclaim since opening back in 2005. It’s headed up by Australian chef Brett Graham, who learned the tricks of the trade under Philip Howard at The Square. British ingredients take centre stage – Cornish cod, Hampshire buffalo milk curd and Berkshire muntjac – all cooked with exceptional flourish. It’s a hugely popular spot, so reservations are crucial.
127 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AQ, theledbury.com
The third venture from culinary duo Jackson Boxer and chef Andrew Clarke – the duo behind St Leonards in Shoreditch – is inspired by Orosay, a small tidal island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. In comparison to the spacious St Leonards, Orasay is a cosy, unpretentious spot with minimalist wooden tables, terracotta-cushioned benches and flickering candles. Seafood is the focus, with a seasonal menu based on what the fishermen send from their catch – recent dishes have included smoked eel with razor clams and egg noodles, sea bass with courgette and almond miso, and Isle of Mull scallops with shiitake and vin jaune. The vegetarian dishes, however, should not be overlooked: there’s deep-fried gnocchi with truffle, for instance, and grilled pumpkin served with roast fennel.
31 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2EU, orasay.london
Michael Lim’s modern Asian restaurant Uli was first established over two decades ago on All Saints Road, but closed a few years ago – much to the dismay of its loyal fan base. Luckily it’s re-opened in a new location on Ladbroke Grove with a brighter, cleaner look, and a lighter menu to match. Healthy dishes include coconut tofu curry, pan-fried teriyaki cod, sea bass noodle salad and miso aubergine – though if you’re looking for something indulgent, the sweet and sour battered chicken should do the trick. Be sure to get stuck into the small bites too: the peppercorn salted prawns, spicy scallops and wok-fried daikon cakes are all more than welcome for pre-main nibbling.
5 Ladbroke Rd, London W11 3PA, ulilondon.com
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